ISLAMABAD - The inordinate delay in release of adequate funds for the projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology, which aimed at encouraging research and development activities in the field of science and technology has slowed down the pace of work. The government had earmarked Rs3,100 million for development expenditures for the financial year 2009-10 but so far, only Rs550 million have been released in two quarters whereas at least Rs1,800 million should have been released in two quarters of the current financial year for 140 development projects including ongoing and new years. The allocation has gone down greatly reflecting the low priority accorded to science and technology by the government, which has hampered the progress of hundreds of development projects. For instance, construction of new building of MoST is also delayed as the government has released only Rs40 million in the current financial year out of the pledged amount that was Rs150 million. Initiated nearly six years ago, the construction of the new building is still in progress so the ministry has established its infrastructure in a rented building for which the ministry paid heavy amount. For the upgradation and modernisation of workshops at PCSIR laboratories, Peshawar, the government had earmarked nearly Rs50 million but so far merely Rs15 million have been released. It is a pity that most of the amount allocated for science was never released, said an official of the ministry who did not wish to be named. The development budget now is about only Rs3 billion but the actual expenditure figures remain very low. This is an old trick by the government to allocate a larger amount but to release very little. It is also learnt that the government is considering again to merge the MoST with the ministry of Information Technology. Ministry of Science and Technology was made into a full-fledged separate ministry by 2002 end. Earlier, the MoST was a part of Ministry of IT.