ISLAMABAD-The recently released amount to the Higher Education Commission would only fulfill the immediate requirements of the scholars studying in the country and abroad under the scholarship programme of the commission. The commission needs at least Rs7 billion in terms of development budget whereas only Rs2.819 billion have been released which would fulfill requirements of the young scholars only for three-month period (from January to March). The commission is thus short of Rs4.19 billion for Ministry of Finance has released Rs2.819 billion to the HEC as Human Resource Development component of third quarterly installment of development grant on February 14. The commission has been given 50 per cent development budget so far, which amounted to Rs8 billion whereas in this fiscal year Rs18 billion were pledged to be allocated in terms of development budget. The recurring grant for the third quarter of current financial year has not yet been release by the ministry of finance. The funds would be distributed to wipe out the immediate liabilities of the indigenous as well as the scholars studying abroad. At present the HEC has over 4000 MS and PhD scholars studying abroad while it funds 4300 scholars studying in local universities with over 900 MBBS students in Cuba. Out of 4000 students who have been sent abroad 2800 directly by HEC and 1200 have been sent through universities on HEC funding. The government has been spending about Rs9 million on each student and about Rs36 billion on the 4,000 students. The commission needs Rs8 billion to Rs10 billion extra to absorb all these students to provide them research facilities and equipment and only 4 billion for their salaries as they all will be back with in three years gradually. The delay in the release of funds has also caused difficulties for 500 students who had to leave for studies abroad under the Foreign Scholarship Programme, as the finance ministry did not release the funds. Admissions of these students have been suspended by the foreign universities and it has been learnt that they would join universities in the coming September Fall Session. Almost all the development programmes of the universities have been abandoned and construction work as well as research projects that were underway remain incomplete due to untimely and limited release of budgeted funds. The project directors say that the universities had hired for the projects have moved the courts against the sudden closure of the projects in many cases.