Saudi min­is­ters’ salaries slashed by 20 per­cent

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

SAUDI Ara­bia has cut the salaries of cabi­net min­is­ters by 20 per­cent and froze the wages of lower-rank­ing civil ser­vants in an in­ten­si­fied aus­ter­ity drive to cope with lower oil rev­enues.

While min­is­ters will have lower salaries, the 160 mem­bers of the Shura Coun­cil will see a 15pc drop in their an­nual al­lowances for hous­ing, fur­ni­ture and cars, a royal de­cree said.

Coun­cil mem­bers – who in­clude 30 women – are ap­pointed by King Sal­man to ad­vise the cabi­net.

The de­cree did not say how much money would be saved.

Since 2014 global oil prices have col­lapsed by more than half, leav­ing Saudi Ara­bia with a record deficit last year.

The fall in the king­dom’s main source of rev­enue led to un­prece­dented sub­sidy cuts and curbs on gov­ern­ment spend­ing.

In April the king’s son, Deputy Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, an­nounced the wide-rang­ing Vi­sion 2030 plan to di­ver­sify the econ­omy. The ef­fort also seeks a stream­lined, more ac­count­able ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The royal de­crees or­dered the gov­ern­ment to “stop pro­vid­ing cars for se­nior state of­fi­cials”. Tele­phone ex­pen­di­ture will also be curbed.

Vi­sion 2030 aims to boost pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ment, cut­ting the gov­ern­ment pay­roll to 40pc of the bud­get from 45pc by 2020. –

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