Protracted strangulation of PCSIR
ADVANCEMENT OF science and technology is the key to the development. Pakistan has tried to keep up with the times but seems to be going under on several other issues. They have grievously neglected a large institute which only serves science; Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). Scientists working in this Council, with the limited available infrastructure, have been striving to put in their best. However, the treatment being meted out to them in return speaks for itself. Right now there appears to be potent forces at work to frustrate the scientists by depriving them of their rights. It has become a regular practice that retired employees are unable to get pension for months. While trying to identify the root cause, it was been disclosed that the Ministry of Science and Technology has not released the pension funds for Lahore laboratories for the last six months and salaries of regular staff for the last two months. Reliable sources have further disclosed that the Ministry of Finance allocates funds to all ministries based on their indicative ceiling, thereby implying that Ministry of Science and Technology was provided with the required funds. The fault lies with the ministry, who is strangling the PCSIR by curtailing its budget allocation, thereby landing everyone in trouble. Somehow it has been wrongly presumed by the ministry that PCSIR can manage to meet its liabilities from their own resources. This is surly a false presumption, PCSIR can never generate enough revenue in its existing scope and unless the ministry releases funds as per their demand, things are not going to improve. The present financial condition of the laboratories is such that they are unable to pay even their utility bills after disbursement of two months salary to its staff out of their earnings. There are no signs of implementation of 20 per cent increase in pension or salaries announced by the government.
Syed Asad Mustafa
Former DG PCSIR, Lahore