PM’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq blames ‘robbery by oil firms’ for dollar reserve crisis

Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury says the oil companies ‘robbed Bangladesh of $14 billion in 3 years’

Published : 24 March 2024, 04:53 PM
Updated : 24 March 2024, 04:53 PM

The Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury has blamed the global oil companies for the macroeconomic pressure on Bangladesh over a dollar reserve crisis.

He says the oil firms “robbed Bangladesh of $14 billion in 3 years”.

Tawfiq made the comments at a seminar on the ruling Awami League’s economic manifesto, and trends and challenges facing the country on Sunday.

Speaking at the event organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, he said paying for fuel oil triggered the economic pressure.

“And there was a robbery here. I’ve calculated that all the oil companies robbed Bangladesh of $14 billion in past three years,” he said, adding that his calculation is based in the time from the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

“The crisis started after so many dollars were taken away from the reserves,” Tawfiq said.

This led to the Taka’s devaluation against the US Dollar and current account deficit, he believes.

“And when our reserves were taken away, the US raised lending rates, which created inflation. They took away dollars from across the world.”

The prime minister’s adviser also alleged the West was using its stance on democracy, along with oil and dollar, as a “weapon”.

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said he had hints that dollars would start coming through offshore banking “soon” as long as the country legalised the system by passing a law earlier this month.