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The people of Pakistan have been urged to drink less tea in order to preserve foreign currency that’s used to import tea leaves.

The latest figures show that the Pakistani government pays over R8,2 billion annually to import the leaves used in to brew the nation’s favourite beverage. Pakistan is the world’s biggest importer of tea.

Ahsan Iqbal, the minister for planning and development has asked the nation to cut back.

“I would also appeal to the nation to cut down one or two cups of tea because the tea we import is also imported on credit.”

The minister’s comments urged locals to share their outrage on social media.

Jan Muhammad, a 45-year-old truck driver says he drinks about 20 cups a day.

“Why should we reduce the use of tea… we drink at our own expense, we don’t drink with government money.”

“When you drive and you can’t see the road… Then there is a risk of an accident. That’s why 20 cups are compulsory.”

RTE reports that Pakistanis drink tea in many forms – black, green, hot, cold, sweet, salted and spiced – but the most popular is made by brewing the leaves in boiled sweetened milk.

Image credit: Onmanorama

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