Saudi government workers will be paid according to the Gregorian calendar instead of the Islamic Hijri calendar, making the working month longer as part of cost-cutting measures, newspapers reported on Monday.
It was approved by cabinet last week, brings civil service pay in line with the government’s January-December fiscal year, the Arab News and Saudi Gazette reported. The reports said the latest austerity measure took effect on October 1.
The Hijri calender consists of 12 months of 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon, meaning the Islamic year is several days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, which is widely used in the world. Last week, cabinet also cut by 20 per cent the salaries of ministers and froze the wages of lower-ranked civil servants.
Among its goals, Vision 2030 aims to boost private sector employment, cutting the government payroll to 40 per cent of the budget from 45 per cent by 2020.
In January, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that countries behind the fall in global oil prices would regret their decision, warning that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would suffer alongside Iran from the price drop. He added that “If Iran suffers from the drop in oil prices, other oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will suffer more than Iran.
source : PTI