Pakistan has been facing severe economic challenges for months. Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal has urged the citizens to reduce tea consumption.
Pakistan minister urges citizens to drink less tea. (Image for representation)
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, has urged citizens to drink less tea to keep the economy afloat. Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistanis could reduce their tea consumption by “one or two cups” per day as imports are putting additional financial strain on the government.
Iqbal told the reporters that the country has been importing tea by taking loans.
The federal budget document for the outgoing fiscal year showed that Pakistan imported Rs13 billion (USD 60 million) worth of more tea than the last fiscal year.
Last week, the government unveiled a fresh $47 billion budget for 2022-23 in a bid to convince the IMF to restart the $6 billion bailout deal, agreed by both parties in 2019.
The South Asian nation of 220 million is the world’s largest importer of tea, buying more than $640 million worth in 2020, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
Pakistan has been facing severe economic challenges for months, leading to an increase in the prices of food, gas and oil.
Meanwhile, its foreign currency reserves are declining rapidly. Funds held by the central bank fell from $16.3 billion at the end of February to just above $10 billion in May, according to Reuters — a more than $6 billion drop and enough to cover the cost of two months of its imports.