ISLAMABAD Ministry of Finance has been sitting on a summary sent by the Ministry of Science & Technology four months ago proposing a Special Pay Scale (SPS) for the scientists working in research and development organisations of the Ministry of Science & Technology. The ministry had forwarded the proposal in December last year to upgrade salary structures of the employees of research and development organisation in line with the salary structure of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has approved the proposal to upgrade pay scale of the scientists but only the endorsement of the Finance Ministry is needed for its final approval. It has been learnt that the BPS salary system prevailing in the organisations of the ministry and other public sector organisations has failed to attract and retain good quality science and technology manpower in such organisations. In addition to the brain drain to foreign countries, an internal brain drain is taking place where the more capable scientists are being attracted to the universities and the strategic research organisations. Many scientists have left the research organisations of the ministry due to low salary packages and somewhat bleak future prospects or prefer to join private organisation or universities, which offer better salary packages. Besides the salary, lack of promotions and career advancement opportunities are major factors in the demoralisation of the scientists working in the public sector research organisations due to which about 33 percent posts of scientists are lying vacant, informed a senior ministry official. Scientists should not be compared with clerks. They mostly hold PhD degrees and work with dedication without time limits. And here they are not even paid $1000 (Rs.84,000) so they prefer to leave the country, regretted another official of a research organisation. Nearly 50 percent raise in the salaries of the scientists has been proposed working research organisations of the ministry across the country. The proposed pay scale designed along the lines of the Tenure Track System of the public sector universities permits accelerated promotions based on performance rather than seniority and up gradation of posts to avoid frustration of the younger scientists due to lack of promotion.