Large scale strategic projects a priority: Asad


ISLAMABAD:

Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Friday informed the Senate that the government was committed to accelerating policies and programmes to enhance the social wellbeing of people while ensuring that no one was left behind.

In a written reply to a query, the minister stated that the major thrust of public sector investment under the Federal Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) after the 18th amendment was on the funding of large scale strategic projects of national interest.

Asad Umar said that the priorities were defined and determined by the National Economic Council (NEC), affirming that the cornerstone of the incumbent government’s policy was to make investments in underdeveloped regions to bring them at par with other relatively developed areas of the country.

This would reduce poverty and empower the marginalised segments of the society, he added.
“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.

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The minister, in his response, told the upper house that the Kifalat Tahafuz was one of the largest covid-19 emergency cash transfer programmes globally and was also featured by the World Economic Forum.

“Sehat Sahulat was another initiative launched to relieve the most vulnerable populations, covering 14 million families living below the poverty line,” Asad Umar said and added that the programme also was also entrusted with the task of universal coverage of health protection in all districts of Gilgit Baltistan, Tharparkar and KM.

“The Kamyab Jawan Program, specifically, on human capital development, was creating income generation and employment opportunities for the 64 million youth of Pakistan through Hunarmand Jawan Skills development, Youth Entrepreneurship Schemes and several other supporting initiatives.”

He said the federal government has also initiated special regional development and “equalisation packages” for southern Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, more than 14 districts of Sindh and allocations for newly merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under a ten-year 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.

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