Monday, October 3, 2016

Saudi Arabia abandons Hijira calendar , adopts Gregorian

(Saudi Gazzette)- RIYADH — Pay and perks of employees working in the public sector will be disbursed in accordance with the Gregorian calendar effective from Oct. 1.

This was reported by Online news sites Sabq and Ain Al-Yaum, quoting a decision of the Council of Ministers issued on Sept. 26.

The Cabinet took the decision as part of major austerity measures, including 20 percent salary cut of ministers and a moratorium on increment to government staff for the new Hijri year.

According to the Cabinet decision, the salaries and allowances will be calculated on the basis of the fiscal year approved for the state in line with the Royal decree issued 30 years ago, on Rabi Al-Thani 12, 1407.

The decision to switch from the lunar-based Hijri calendar to the Gregorian one will bring the public sector salary disbursement in line with that of the private sector.

The government employees will lose 11 days of payment under the revised mechanism. The Hijri calendar is made up of 12 months of 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon, and the year is usually 354 days, 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.