The government of Saudi Arabia, faced with the need to reduce public spending, announced the transfer of accounting in the country with traditional Islamic lunar calendar – Hijri – Gregorian calendar. About it reports NEWSru.Israel with reference to the Saudi broadcaster al-Arabiya”.
This step will give the government the ability to pay civil servants the same amount for the year, which will be 11-12 working days more (depending on whether a year is leap), as in the Gregorian calendar of 365-366 days, the Hijri calendar is 354 days.
We will remind, until recently the prices of basic goods and services, including gasoline, electricity and water in the Kingdom remained at a low level due to government subsidies. However, due to the fall in oil prices, the country’s budget could no longer cope with these costs.
At the beginning of this year, king Salman bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud began to reform the economy, to get rid of oil dependence. So, the country received a “realistic budget”, which sets the price of oil of $ 29 per barrel.
According to analysts, the ultimate goal of reforms is to restructure the Saudi economy, thus, to get rid of complete dependence on oil exports. Reform in Saudi Arabia, Western experts were called “teterovskis revolution”, which envisages the reduction of budget expenditures, raising taxes, water rates, electricity and housing.
In April, Saudi Arabia solemnly presented the plan of getting rid of oil dependence. The most anticipated part of the document was the initial public offering (IPO) of the state oil company Saudi Aramco, and the creation of the world’s largest national wealth Fund with assets of more than $ 2 trillion.
In September the Kingdom has cut public service pay by 20% and the salaries of the members of the consultative Council (Majlis ash-Shura) was reduced by 15%. All civil servants of the cancelled award and reduced leave. The only exceptions are military personnel in Saudi forces in Yemen.
In addition, the days were increased the cost of visas to Saudi Arabia for citizens of foreign States, millions of which annually attracts in the Arabian Peninsula in order to visit the Muslim Holy places.
One-time entry visa will cost 2 thousand riyals (one Riyal at the official exchange rate is now worth approximately 0.27 US dollar). Exemption available only for first-time Hajj. Six-month multiple-entry visa will cost 3 thousand riyals, a year – 5 thousand riyals, two-year – 8 thousand riyals. A transit visa will cost 300 riyals.
Residing in Saudi Arabia, foreign workers and specialists who want to leave the country for up to two months, will have to pay 200 riyals for an exit visa. Each additional month of absence in the country will cost another 100 riyals.
Finally, in search of additional revenues for the Treasury in the Kingdom of tougher penalties for traffic violation of the rules. The size of the penalty for the first violation, the threat increased to 20 thousand riyals for the second – up to 40 thousand riyals, and the third is up to 60 thousand riyals with confiscation of the vehicle.