Pakistan's Federal Minister of Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, has told the reporters that Pakistanis could reduce their tea consumption by "one or two cups" per day as imports are putting "additional financial strain on the government."
He said, "The tea we import is imported by taking a loan" he also added that "business should also close earlier to save electricity."
Many in Pakistan have ridiculed Iqbal's request, which stated that cutting tea consumption would do little to ease the country's economic woes. Pakistan has been facing severe economic challenges for many months now; this has increased the prices of basic essential commodities like food, gas and oil. Its foreign currency reserves are also declining rapidly. Funds held by the central bank have fallen from $ 16.3 billion at the end of February to just above $10 billion in May. According to Reuters, a more than $6 billion drop is expected; it's enough to cover the cost of two months of its imports.
Has the Minister hinted towards an economic crisis, just as Srilanka is facing?