The Government of Pakistan has not banned tea
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal urged citizens to reduce tea consumption, but no ban has been implemented
Claim: According to a post shared by social media news site Startup Pakistan, citizens of Pakistan have rejected the government’s ban on tea.
Fact: The post is false. The Government of Pakistan has not banned tea or tea imports. In a statement to the media, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal urged the people of Pakistan to reduce tea consumption to help the country in its current economic crisis. However, no ban on tea has been implemented.
Fact or Fiction?
On 22 June 2022, social media news site Startup Pakistan posted to their Facebook page a photo with the text, “#ChaiKoBakhshDo Trending across Internet as Netizens Rejected Govt Ban on Tea.”
The caption of the post is as follows: “Rapid surge in inflation has caused a lot of problems in the country. In this scenario, only tea is many people’s favorite and stress-relieving therapy. In light of this, netizens have criticized and rejected the recent Government’s ban on Tea. #ChaiKoBakshDo is top trending on twitter and other social media sites.”
The post by Startup Pakistan suggests that the Government of Pakistan has placed a ban on tea or tea imports. However, this is not the case.
In a public statement addressed to the media, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal urged Pakistani citizens to cut down on tea consumption to help tackle the country’s growing international trade deficit.
Pakistan is the world’s largest importer of tea; the country cannot meet its tea needs with local tea production alone. According to data available online, Pakistan imported $589 million worth of tea in 2020. (Source: Statista)
Iqbal’s statement was met with considerable backlash, with many social media users sharing posts and memes criticising the advice. Importantly, however, Iqbal’s statement did not amount to a ban on tea imports.
The government did recently impose a ban on the import of certain items, but the list does not include tea. A detailed list of the items on which import bans or restrictions have been imposed can be viewed here.
Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis and found that the original post shared by Startup Pakistan received a total of 2,556 interactions on Facebook, including 2,200 likes, 69 comments and 72 shares. The outlet’s posts on Instagram received a total of 234 interactions on Instagram.
Conclusion: Contrary to Startup Pakistan’s post, the Government of Pakistan has not banned tea imports. Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal’s appeal to citizens to reduce tea consumption appears to have been taken out of context to suggest a ban on tea imports has been imposed. The government did recently impose a ban on the import of certain items, but the list does not include tea.