Lahore:Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Punjab Skill Development Fund (PSDF) is a revolutionary programme through which low-income families are being enabled to boost their income by learning different skills, so that they can stand on their own feet and get rid of their financial problems. He said Punjab Skills Development Fund is successfully operating in the districts of South Punjab, while the scope of this programme would be extended soon throughout the province. He informed that, through PSDF, 15 thousand low-income persons have been imparted skill so far, out of which 40% are women.
Chief Minister was addressing a briefing session of Punjab Skill Development Fund, here today. Head of Department for International Development (DFID) UK, in Pakistan George Turkington, President of DFID Economic Growth Group, Alex Ferren, Lead Advisor Punjab Economic Opportunity Forum, Fatima Afzal, Secretaries of Industries, Planning and Development, Chief Executive Officer PSDF Ali Sarfraz, Sara Saeed, Dr. Ijaz Nabi and Almas Haider were also present.
The Chief Minister said that deserving persons are being imparted different skills under PSDF programme, for which Punjab government would provide all out resources. He said the efficiency of fund can be further augmented through close coordination and cooperation between the concerned institutions. Chief Minister directed formation of a committee to solve the matters relating to PSDF and exploring the possibility of establishing a Youth Skills Development Authority. He informed that after its success in Lahore, a slaughter house would also be established in South Punjab to provide meat to the general public in accordance with hygienic principles. He said during his recent visit to Britain, has been highly successful in increasing cooperation in education sector. He said, he has been greatly impressed by the British standard of education and its splendid performance in capacity-building of its teachers, alongwith promoting technical education. He said British authorities are prepared to extend cooperation to Punjab in education sector. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said, by preparing a skilled force, we can greatly reduce unemployment and poverty however, such courses would have to be evolved which are in accordance with the market needs, while the duration of technical education classes should be both short-term and long-term. He said all possible steps would be taken to strengthen PSDF while matching grant would also be given on priority basis. Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Sharif said corruption has been eliminated in Punjab through good governance, while ghost culture has also been eradicated. He said private sector is being incentivized in different development sectors in Punjab, while the role of private sector in PSDF would also be enhanced. He said it is our responsibility to extend all kind of assistance to low-income families to enable them stand on their own feet, and in this regard PSDF programme is being further expended so that low-income families can be free of their economic problems. Chief Minister said that a close coordination between various institutions is highly essential with regard to technical education in order to impart skill to the people, so that further positive results can be garnered.
Addressing the meeting, George Turkington said that people are being financially strengthened through PSDF by imparting them various skills. He said greater employment opportunities in South Punjab have been created as a result of PSDF programme of the Chief Minister, in addition to promoting economic activities. George Turkington paid glowing tributes to Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for enabling youth to acquire technical skills in Punjab and said that cooperation would continue with Punjab government in this regard. Fatima Afzal gave a detailed briefing to the participants about PSDF.