Pakistan Govt urges citizens to reduce tea consumption to save money

Pakistan Govt urges citizens to reduce tea consumption to save money.

The Pakistani government has pushed citizens to lower their tea consumption. It claims that drinking fewer cups daily will help reduce the country’s depleted foreign currency reserves. 

According to The News International newspaper, Pakistan drank tea worth Rs 83.88 billion (USD 400 million) in the fiscal year 2021-22, prompting the call from Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal.

He said Pakistan, the world’s largest tea importer, must borrow money to import it.

“I beg the country to reduce tea consumption by 1-2 cups since we import tea on loan,” Iqbal remarked to reporters on Tuesday in New Delhi.

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According to the government budget paper for the current fiscal year, Pakistan imported Rs 13 billion (USD 60 million) more tea than the previous fiscal year.

According to the News Network International news agency, Rs 70.82 billion (USD 340 million) was spent on tea imports in the fiscal year 2020-21.

Pakistan’s foreign currency reserves fell from over USD 16 billion in February to around USD 10 billion in the first week of June, hardly enough to pay two months’ worth of imports.

As part of its effort to preserve foreign cash, the government barred the import of dozens of non-essential luxury products last month.

According to the planning ministry, the merchants’ community has also been requested to shut markets by 8:30 p.m. to save electricity.