Pakistani Minister Suggests Reducing Tea Consumption To Combat Economic Crisis

A Pakistani minister appealed to the people to drink lesser tea to help save on imports.

“I appeal to the nation to reduce tea intake by one or two cups daily because we borrow money for tea import as well,” Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning and Development, said Tuesday.

Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) reported that Pakistan was the largest tea importer in 2020, with $646 million in tea imports. OEC added that tea was the 13th most imported product in Pakistan.

Iqbal also suggested that traders end their work early to save on energy.

Iqbal faced criticisms over his statements, with some calling for the minister to resign.

A panelist on a Pakistan-based news program said the country’s ministers have refused to work hard to solve the crisis. “This way, if I don’t go to work for seven days, I’ll save on petrol. What kind of solution is this?” the panelist said.

Pakistan is facing an economic crisis, with $6.4 billion in debt to be settled over the next three years.

In May, the Pakistan government raised local fuel prices to meet the bailout terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The government also asked countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE for financial help.

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