World

RIYADH (Web Desk) – In an expected turn of events, the cash-strapped Saudi Arabia has finally abandoned the Islamic calendar paving way for implementation of the gregorian calendar.

The decision came in the aftermath of growing financial fears that the kingdom is currently braving. The move would somewhat make the working month longer, resulting in cost-cutting.

The change, 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 private sector was already following the gregorian system.

The Hijri calendar 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 in a bid to re-orient its economy after a collapse.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has been hit hard by the drop in crude oil prices that began in 2014, forcing the kingdom to attempt massive reforms aimed at cutting spending.