ISLAMABAD Realising the sensitivity of the situation, the Federal Cabinet Wednesday directed the Finance Ministry to immediately release funds for students currently studying abroad on scholarships so that there would be no halt in their studies. Despite financial constraints, the Cabinet also decided that the Federal Government would provide funds for the development projects, which were close to completion, of universities. The meeting of the Federal Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was informed that the country had enough stock of wheat, rice and pulses that could be carried over for the next year. Later addressing a press conference, while giving details of the Cabinet meeting Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the country had a wheat stock of over 10 million tonnes against the total demand of over eight million tonnes. Similarly the country has rice stock of 6.78 million tonnes as against the demand of 2.5 million tonnes. To a question, Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali said that education was top priority of the incumbent Government and it would provide all required funds to the universities to complete their important projects despite financial crunch. When asked about the countrywide protests in different universities, he said that that there was a committee to handle the matter. The matter could be handled through the committee but protests were held in different universities. Higher Education Commission (HEC) is one of the institutions of the Government. Currently, we are facing financial crunch and all will have to tighten their belts, as no one is sacred cow, he added. Kaira said that Cabinet also decided that the Federal Government would provide funds for the development projects, which were close to completion, of universities, besides supporting them to give 50 percent salary increase to their employees as was announced by the Federal Government for the public employees. Talking about restoration and rehabilitation of flood affectees, Kaira said that all available resources would be mobilised for the rehabilitation and return of flood victims to their homes. He said it was decided that seeds would be provided free of cost to those farmers who had 25 acres of land. About the supply of petroleum, Kaira said there was shortage of the fuel in some cities due to the closure of refineries following floods, which had now been overcome. The Minister further informed that the Cabinet also accorded approval for an MOU for bolstering trade relations between Pakistan and Australia. It also gave approval to negotiate in principle draft MOUs for defence cooperation with Bulgaria and Germany. He said that Corporate Rehabilitation Bill 2010 was also presented before the Cabinet and the Prime Minister constituted a committee headed by the Finance Minister to vet the Bill and present it before the Cabinet again for approval. Kaira said that the Cabinet offered Fateha for former minister for local government and rural development, Abdul Razzak Thahim, Governor Gilgit-Baltistan, Dr Shamma Khalid, and the mother of Minister for Human Rights Mumtaz Gilani.