To cut costs, Saudi Arabia shuns Islamic calendar!

Riyadh: To cut cost, Saudi government has decided to pay workers according to the Gregorian calendar from October 1. Till now the workers were being paid according to the Islamic Hijri calendar. The new move makes the working month longer, reports say. The change brings pay in the civil services in line with the government's January-December fiscal. Fall in oil prices have forced the oil-rich country to go for austerity measures.  Depending on sighting of moon, The Hijri calendar comprises 12 months of 29 or 30 days. This means the Islamic year is several days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.  Saudi government has reduced salaries of ministers by 20 per cent, while wages of lower-ranked civil servants has been frozen. (Agencies)