Pakistan’s higher education commission has now suggested a novel way to cut expenditure on the import of tea. The education body has asked the vice-chancellors to promote the consumption of local drinks like ‘Lassi’ and ‘Sattu’ (corn flour), The News reported.
The HEC says the move will not only increase employment, but also generate income for the public amid the ongoing economic crisis in the country. The higher education commission’s acting chairperson cited the economic crisis faced by Pakistan and asked them to take a ‘leadership role’ and think of innovative ways to provide relief to the lower income groups.
One of the suggested measures include promoting local tea plantations and also locally manufactured and healthy drinks like ‘lassi’ and ‘sattu’. The commission said that the move will also generate income involvement and employment in manufacturing these drinks.
This comes days after Pakistan’s planning minister urged the people of his country to cut down on their tea intake because the country had to borrow money to import tea.
“I appeal to the nation to cut down the consumption of tea by 1-2 cups because we import tea on loan,” the minister said in a video which went viral.
Pakistan is facing a severe economic crisis in recent times. The country’s stock exchange on Friday halted trading after its benchmark index plunged by more than 2,000 points. The shocking plunge came after prime minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that he was imposing a new 10 per cent tax on major industries, news agency AP 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 would apply to industries such as cement, steel, sugar, banking, textile and others. There would also be new, graduated taxes on the wealthy. The measures are expected to go into effect on July 1, following approval by parliament.
On the same day, Pakistani finance minister Miftah Ismail said that a loan of 2.3 billion dollars from a Chinese consortium of banks had been credited to the central bank’s account. “I am pleased to announce that Chinese consortium loan of RMB 15bn (roughly USD 2.3 bn) has been credited into State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) account today, increasing our foreign exchange reserves,” Ismail tweeted.