Saudi government workers to be paid according to Gregorian calendar

The Hijri calender is several days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.

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RIYADH // 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.

The change, approved by the Saudi 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.

Riyadh is cutting government spending and reorienting its economy after a collapse over the past two years of the global oil price which provided most of its revenue.

The Hijri calender is several days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.

Last week, the Saudi cabinet also cut the salaries of ministers by 20 per cent and froze the wages of lower-ranked civil servants.

Almost twice as many Saudis are employed in the public sector than in private firms.

In April, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced the wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy.

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.

* Agence France-Presse