Pakistan minister urges public to drink less tea to reduce import bill

Ahsan Iqbal also urged the business community to shut markets by 8.30pm to cut down on electricity costs

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By Web Desk

Published: Wed 15 Jun 2022, 11:35 AM

Pakistan's Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has urged the public to cut down on their tea consumption to reduce the country's import bill.

"I appeal to the nation to reduce tea intake by one or two cups daily because we borrow money for tea import as well," Iqbal said while addressing the media on Tuesday.

He also asked the larger public to support government efforts to lift the country out of the economic stall it is in. Iqbal also appealed to the business community shut markets by 8.30pm to reduce electricity costs.

To prevent a looming default, the Pakistani government banned the import of 41 items in May. The decision lowered imports of cars, mobile phones, cosmetics, cigarettes, food products, certain garments and toiletries.

However, the measure seems to not be enough, as it would only curtail the import bill by less than 5%, or less than $600 million.


Iqbal accused the country's former rulers of ruining the economy, saying ex-prime minister Imran Khan and his party members have confessed to their "crimes." He also accused the former PTI government of signing an 'anti=people' agreement with the International Monetary Fun.

He said the PML-N came to power to save the country, hoping the economy would stabilise in the coming months.

Iqbal also said his party had given farmers incentives to bolster wheat, sugar, palm oil and cotton production to save the country's foreign reserves.

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