Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was invited by the Union Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley for a one-on-one meeting in Davos on Thursday 21 January during the World Economic Forum. The two held a 40-minute meeting during which the Minister discussed with Professor Yunus about the programs being implemented through Mudra Bank which has recently been established by the Indian government to provide refinancing facility to microcredit and SME loans to microentrepreneurs. Professor Yunus used the opportunity to thank the minister for taking the bold decision to give banking licences to microcredit NGOs, saying that is the most appropriate step to take reach financial services to the poorest. He also praised the new CSR Law introduced in India whereby business have to set aside 2% of their profits towards CSR activities. Professor Yunus urged Minister Jaitley to include social business in the list of activities which can be funded by the CSR money.
The Minister elaborated about the government program to encourage unemployed youth into entrepreneurs. He said more than one lakh young people have already been reached by this programme. Professor Yunus briefed the Minister on microcredit programs around the world. He gave an overview of the expansion of social business concept around the world, including India. The Minister was particularly interested to get the details of social business program in Bangladesh which is turning unemployed youth into entrepreneurs and wanted to understand the difference between the Indian program and the Bangladeshi programs.