To keep Pakistan’s economy afloat, Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal urged citizens to drink less tea. Iqbal said Pakistanis might cut back on their tea consumption by “one or two cups” per day since the imports are putting further financial pressure on the government.
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In an interview with reporters, Iqbal said the country imports tea by borrowing money. Pakistan imported 60 million USD more tea in the outgoing fiscal year than it had in the previous one, according to the federal budget document.
To persuade the IMF to negotiate the renegotiation of the 6 billion bailout pact, the government unveiled a new $47 billion budget for 2020-2023 last week.
By 2020, 220 million South Asians import 640 million dollars worth of tea, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.
In the last few months, Pakistan has faced serious economic challenges that have led to a rise in food, gas, and oil prices. The decline in foreign exchange reserves has been rapid at the same time.
According to Reuters, the central bank’s holdings dropped from $16.3 billion in late February to more than $10 billion in May – a decline of more than $6 billion and enough to cover the nation’s imports for two months.
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