ISLAMABAD: The government was committed to accelerate policies and programmes to enhance the social well-being of its people while ensuring that no one was left behind, Senate informed on Friday. In a written reply to the question, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that major thrust of public sector investment under the Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) after the 18th amendment to the Constitution is on the funding of large scale strategic projects of national interest, he said. The minister said that these priorities were defined and determined by the National Economic Council (NEC) and other development planning fora. He said that the cornerstone of the incumbent government’s policy is to invest in underdeveloped regions to bring them at par with other, relatively developed areas of the country; reduce poverty and empower the marginalized segments of the society. “Accordingly, the entire premise of Ehsaas Programme was structured around social welfare of the people of the country and creation of a welfare state,” he said. The minister said that the programme has restructured the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP_- Kifalat Tahafuz launched the regionally tested National Poverty Graduation Initiative which was one of the largest COVID-Emergency cash transfer programs globally, featured by the World Economic Forum. He said that the Sehat Sahulat program was another initiative that has been launched to relieve the most vulnerable populations of the catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure on health covering 14 million families living below the poverty line. He said that it was including universal coverage of health protection in all districts of Gilgit Baltistan, Tharparkar, and KM. The Kamyab Jawan Program, specifically, on human capital development, creating income generation/ employment opportunities for the 64 million youth of Pakistan through Hunarmand Jawan Skills development, Youth Entrepreneurship Schemes (YES), and several other supporting initiatives. Asad Umar said that the federal government also initiated special regional development and equalization packages for Southern Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, 14 plus priority districts of Sindh, and allocations for newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under ten years accelerated plan and Annual Development Plan (ADP). The minister said that the packages entail projects for education, health, social welfare, poverty alleviation, and infrastructure development.