FAISALABAD - The employees of the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad on the call of its Academic Staff Association took out a rally to register their protest against the non-payment of annual pay raise despite its announcement some three months ago. The participants of the rally were asking the government and the Higher Education Commission to immediate release the grants of the university to help enable the administration to pay the increased salaries to mitigate the suffering of the employees. They said that Eid was around the corner but the non-payment of the raised salary had not only dimmed the colours of this religious festival but had also made the auspicious occasion 'miserable for them. The rally, comprising hundreds of the UAF employees was taken out under the auspicious of UAF Academic Staff Association (ASA) and was led by its President Prof Dr Muhammad Khalid. The rally started from the Faculty of Animal Husbandry and culminated outside Administration Block. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Muhammad Khalid said that the government had announced a 15 percent raise in revised pay scales from July 1, 2011 but despite the lapse of four months, they were deprived of it, compelling them to give the voice to their feeling at public level in the form of protest. Meanwhile, UAF Spokesperson Dr Jalal Arif told the media that the university was facing total shortfall of Rs 443 million while the impact of increased salary and pensions in the current financial year is standing at Rs 170 million. He said the university was also bearing the impact of increased utility bills of 50 million in the current year. He said the Higher Education Commission had given a grant of rs1.5 billion last year which Rs41 million less than the total expenditures. This year, the HEC has committed to giving a grant of Rs824 million due to financial crunch. He said the monthly total expenditure of pays and pensions of the varsity is Rs96 million. ASA President Prof Dr Muhammad Khalid said that nowadays, the country was confronting many challenges including rising inflation and skyrocketing prices. In this scenario, the announcement of raised salary worked as a beacon of hope for the salaried class. He urged the government to release the grant as soon as possible. They said that they would continue protesting if their demand was not accepted.