ISLAMABAD - The federal government is working on a plan to introduce new salary package full of incentives for the executive cadre and top officials of state entities in a bid to stop the soaring brain drain from the country.

“The existing level of salary package MP-I scale is much lesser than the market rate, which is causing brain drain from the country”, said Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms in a Senate Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs.

Therefore, the government is working on a plan to give incentives to the executive cadre – including secretaries and bosses of the state own entities – which would be higher than the MP-I scale, a high pay scale used to be given to professionals hired for top slots. The minister said he has discussed the idea with the prime minister.

Ahsan said the new salary package would be performance based. The officials working on the top slots (secretary level) of the government division could also benefit from the proposed salary package but they would have to quit their existing jobs. The minister said that institutions could not perform well without efficient professional heads. “The government is not appointing anyone on political basis.”

Briefing the committee, Ahsan Iqbal said that government is struggling to find qualified people in the country for filling the top slots mainly because of the brain drain. The government could not find a person for Chief Economist slot despite conducting interviews twice last year. He added that government would now advertise this job for the third time.

Ahsan Iqbal also shared another idea of introducing new software at website of Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms to stop corruption and irregularities in public sector programmes, it would enable people to lodge their complaint via email.