King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Image Credit: AP

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s government has decided to curb to some financial perks for public sector employees, the government said following its weekly session on Sunday chaired by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

A royal decree announced a cut to ministers’ salaries by 20 percent and to members of the appointed Shura Council by 15 percent.

The decision comes as low oil prices have pushed energy-rich Gulf Arab states to rein in lavish public spending.

No annual bonus will be given for the next Islamic year, due to start on October 2, and the renewal or extension of existing contracts will not include any salary increases.

The employees will have their bonuses, allowances and financial perks cancelled, amended or suspended according to their categories, the government added.

Annual holidays for ministers will also be reduced from 42 days to 36 days.

Previously, an employee would receive an additional 25 per cent of their salary for work performed outside of normal working hours. It would reach 50 per cent if the work is performed on official holidays.

Under the new rules, public sector employees will not receive transport allowance during their holidays and if they don’t use their 60 off days during the year, they lose them.

The financial reductions will be applied to all public sector employees regardless of their nationalities and if they are in the military.

Government agencies will be given 60 days to amend their statutes to ensure full compliance with the new decree.