The government will soon transfer compensation funds to the residents of Sderot, Finance Minister Roni Bar-On said Wednesday at an economic conference Jerusalem. "We have a genuine desire to assist the business owners in the town," said Bar-On. "I have instructed that the timetable for the compensations will be as brief as possible." Earlier on Wednesday, the Knesset passed in preliminary reading legislation obliging the state to assist small and middle-sized businesses in case of war. The motion was filed by MK Silvan Shalom (Likud). Also on Wednesday, the Knesset Finance Committee agreed to raise NIS 26 million to cover scholarships for the Sapir college near Sderot, also within the missile range. Student union representatives at the meeting pushed for full scholarships, which would cost approximately NIS 45 million.