The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has now suggested a new way to cut expenditure on the import of tea. The News reported that the education body has asked the vice-chancellors to promote the consumption of local drinks like ‘lassi’ and ‘sattu’ (corn flour).
HEC says that this step will not only increase employment, but will also generate income for the public amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country. The acting chairman of the Higher Education Commission cited the economic crisis facing Pakistan and asked them to play a “leadership role” and think of new ways to provide relief to the low income groups.
One of the suggested measures includes promotion of local tea gardens and locally made and healthy drinks like ‘lassi’ and ‘sattu’. The commission said the move would also lead to income sharing and employment generation in the manufacture of these beverages.
This comes days after Pakistan’s planning minister urged the people of his country to reduce their consumption of tea as the country had to borrow money to import tea.
“I appeal to the country to cut tea consumption by 1-2 cups as we import tea on debt,” the minister said in a video that went viral.
Pakistan is facing serious economic crisis in recent times. The country’s stock exchange halted trading on Friday after the benchmark index fell over 2,000. The shocking fall came after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced he was imposing a new 10 percent tax on key industries, news agency Associated Press reported.
Sharif warned that the economy was on the verge of bankruptcy and he was taking measures to save the country and avoid further taxes on the poor. The new tax will be applicable to industries like cement, steel, sugar, banking, textiles and others. There will also be new, graduate taxes on the rich. The measures are expected to take effect from 1 July after approval by Parliament.
On the same day, Pakistani Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that a $2.3 billion loan from a Chinese consortium of banks had been deposited into a central bank account. Ismail tweeted, “I am pleased to announce that a Chinese consortium loan of RMB 15 billion (approximately $2.3 billion) has been credited to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) account today, enabling our foreign exchange The stock has increased.”