Pakistanis told to drink less tea to help fight economic crisis

STORY: Drink less tea

Pakistanis were told by a government minister

to help reduce the country's import bill

that's eating into its fast depleting foreign exchange reserves

(Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning and Development): “I will appeal to the nation to reduce tea intake by one or two cups daily because we borrow money for tea import as well. The whole nation should engage in this mission as it is our obligation to leave all those items that we spend our valued foreign exchange on, unless or until we are self-sufficient in production of tea or we get out of this economic turmoil.”

The nation of 220 million is the world's largest importer of tea

The government spent more than $590 million on tea imports in 2020


Pakistan has been facing severe economic challenges for months

leading to an increase in the prices of food, gas and oil

The minister's request has divided opinions

(Waleed Ansari, Cloth merchant): “We know people who drink five, six cups of tea a day. They work outdoor and feel tired and then often sit at a restaurant and drink tea. If we, all of us, cut down a cup of tea, maybe our economy will improve and the import will be eased.”

(Hafeez Suhail): “By decreasing the intake of tea, the economy of the country cannot recover though it can get a little better. The economic condition is really bad.”

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