ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday urged the masses to cut down the consumption of ‘chai’ amid a ballooning import bill draining forex reserves.
“I appeal to the nation to cut down the consumption of tea by 1-2 cups because we import tea on loan,” Iqbal said, making a case for people to adopt more austere measures.
The planning minister said the traders’ community has also been asked to close markets by 8:30pm to conserve energy. He said this will help the country cut the import bill of petroleum products.
The appeal from the senior minister came after it emerged that the nation consumed tea worth Rs83.88 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22.
The federal budget document for the outgoing fiscal year showed that Pakistan imported Rs13 billion worth of more tea than the last fiscal year.
In the fiscal year 2020-21, Rs70.82 billion was spent on the import of tea, NNI reported.