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This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed ‘Mini-budget’: Consistently inconsistent’ carried by the newspaper on Sunday. The writer, Ali Khizar, no doubt, has presented a highly informed perspective on the matter that he has discussed in his op-ed. However, his argument about the infant milk does not make any greater sense for whatever reasons.

According to him, for example, “some may argue that tax is to encourage mothers to breastfeed. That is true; but one should not forget that 40 percent of women in Pakistan are undernourished (having zinc and iron deficient), and breastfeeding cannot fully compensate for loss of vita nutrition… .”

It is not much clear whether or not he is advocating the import of milk or an outright ban on its import, although he has underscored the need for revising tax on locally produced formula. My point, however, is that working women do not get enough support to continue breastfeeding.

In my view, therefore, the country needs both locally produced and imported milk in abundance because of the fact that although an increasing number of newborns are enjoying the benefits of breastfeeding, less than one in two children are adequately breastfed in the country.

Saira Khan (Islamabad)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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