Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar planted a sapling at the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) secretariat on Tuesday and inspected the blue pottery display centre. He also formally launched the Apprenticeship Act 2021 to provide training to the youth in the industrial sector while the certification will be done by TEVTA. This act would provide on-job training to the youth. The CM said the Punjab government has formulated the first skill policy which will be presented before the cabinet for approval soon. The past governments ignored TEVTA while the PTI-led government has given three billion rupees for different TEVTA programmes and Skill Punjab Portal has also been designed to provide jobs to the skilled youth. The CM announced to establish the first Skill Technology Park over an area of 120 Kanal in TEVTA secretariat adding that 2 lakh and 20 thousand students are being trained in 403 TEVTA institutions every year. Punjab’s first skill mapping project is successfully moving forward in collaboration with the urban unit, he added. Meanwhile, more than one lakh youth has been given free skill education under CM HunarmandProgramme to provide employment to needy youth. Similarly, the CM said new technical universities are being set up in the province. An international standard engineering university will be established in Sialkot with an amount of 17 billion and the government will extend full support to the TEVTA institutions. The CM congratulated the successful graduates of the HunarmandNojawanProgramme and appreciated their skills. He hoped the quality technical education will help to overcome poverty and unemployment. Ali Suleman Siddique said TEVTA will establish 17 centres of excellence with the technical support of the Asian Development Bank. Pakistan’s first electric car will also be developed in TEVTA. 37 courses are being held in 140 TEVTA institutions under CPT&A and all institutions would be brought under the CPT&A within the next two years, he added. Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for Forests Muhammad Sibtain Khan called on Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar to discuss matters of mutual interest. Both extended felicitations to PM Imran Khan over PTI’s wonderful success in the AJK elections. Talking on the occasion, the CM said the results are writing on the wall for the opponents as the outcome has shown that PTI is the most popular party in the country. The hollow slogan of giving respect to vote has met a natural death, he maintained. Meanwhile, the government has approved forest policy as well as protected area act and 6 crore saplings will also be planted during the ongoing monsoon season, he said. A total of 12 crore saplings will be planted during the current year, he added. The CM expressed the satisfaction that 14 thousand acres of forest land have been retrieved from squatters to utilize it for plantation. He regretted that the environmental pollution had increased due to the ruthless cutting of trees in previous tenure. On the other hand, the incumbent government has established more than 600 nurseries in the province to motivate the people to plant trees for maintaining a green environment, he concluded. Sibtain Khan said the success of PTI in AJK elections is the victory of norms of transparency and honesty. The people have preferred trustworthy leadership while the past rulers have become a symbol of disgrace, he added. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar inaugurated counter violent extremism (CVE) and CTD training schools blocks during his visit to the headquarters office of the counter-terrorism department on Tuesday. He also inaugurated the CTD helpline (0800-11111) and inspected different sections. The chief minister announced recruitment on new posts, provision of land for CTD headquarters as well as in ten different districts to construct the field offices. The roads will be constructed on a priority basis to approach the headquarters office and the CTD will also be provided drone, GSM locator, sniping rifles and other equipment along with setting up of a bomb disposal unit to fight terrorism. He distributed cash prizes and commendation certificates among the officers for showing exemplary performance and announced two months’ salary as an honorarium for the CTD force. He also attended a mock operation against terrorists and commandos’ firing skills at the firing range. The CM, IG Police and Principal Secretary to CM also practised shooting on this occasion.