OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said the dream of development cannot be realised without promotion of technical education, which is the backbone of the economy, and by making our youth skilful, not only unemployment and poverty can be eliminated but huge foreign exchange can also be earned by sending them abroad. He was addressing a function held in connection with TEVTA Skills Expo 2011 at Alhamra Hall, here on Wednesday. Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, MNAs, MPAs, Chairman TEVTA, renowned industrialists, teachers and a large number of male and female students attended the function. He said that Punjab government was implementing a comprehensive strategy for the promotion of technical education in accordance with the market needs in the province and TEVTA had been made an active and vibrant institution in this regard. He said had attention been paid to the promotion of technical education during last 63 years, we would not had to see these days and we would also counter the stealth technology with super-stealth technology. The CM announced that prizes are given to the male and female students obtaining prominent positions in various examinations every year but, from this year, prizes would also be given to the male and female students getting outstanding positions in technical education courses. Addressing the function, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that he was pleased to inspect an excellent exhibition arranged by TEVTA and believed that our young generation is talented and if guidance and training on modern lines is provided to it, it can make such achievements as expected by 180 million people of Pakistan. Shahbaz said that TEVTA by holding Skills Expo 2011, had taken a commendable step and he congratulated the children of the province particularly Bahawalpur, Multan, Gujrat for the projects displayed in the exhibition. The Chief Minister believed that if we utilize the talents of the youth in the rightful direction, then Pakistan can become technology exporting country rather than importing country in the coming years. He said that Chairman TEVTA Saeed Alvi and his entire team was making efforts round the clock for the promotion of technical education and hoped that it would bring a revolution in industry, agriculture and trade sectors in the Punjab. He said that the country was facing challenges which could only be countered with modern technology. He said that billions of rupees had been allocated for the promotion of technical education this year and huge resources would also be made available during next year. He said government would provide resources to the children of the nation for making them skillful by curtailing non-development expenditure so that they could play their due role for the development of the country. He said that a programme had been evolved for providing facility of loans for jobs to the skilled youth in the next annual development programme and loans would be given to the skillful children by adopting the model of Akhuwwat in this regard so that they could start their own business. He said that a joint conference of industrialists, investors, chambers, agriculture and technical experts would be convened for the promotion of technical education so that a joint strategy could be evolved for promoting industries in the country with mutual cooperation. Earlier, Chief Minister inaugurated an exhibition and inspected various stalls. Chairman TEVTA Saeed Alvi presented welcome address and added that the sapling which was planted by the Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif 12 years ago had now become a strong tree through which thousands of male and female students benefiting from it were playing their role in the development of the country. He said that the students were being made skillful keeping in view the needs of the markets with the keen interest of Chief Minister for the promotion of technical education.