Bashar decrees 50pc salary hike

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Damascus

Syrian President Bashar Assad issued a decree on Sunday giving hundreds of thousands of civil servants and military members a 50 per cent salary increase amid a harsh economic and financial crisis and price increases for vital products.

The Syrian economy has been hard hit by a decade of war, Western sanctions, widespread corruption and most recently a severe economic and financial crisis in neighbouring Lebanon. The last salary increase was announced in November 2019.

The decree released by Assad’s office put the minimum monthly income at 71,515 Syrian pounds ($22). It also granted military and civilian pension holders an increase of 40pc in the retirement pension.

The US dollar is trading at about 3,200 pounds on the black market while the official rate is 2,500 pounds.

Assad’s decision came a day after the state doubled the price of bread, the country’s main staple, and increased the price of diesel fuel by 180pc.

The price of subsidised bread increased to 200 Syrian pounds. The state-run Syrian Foundation for Bakeries said that the rising price of diesel fuel contributed to the increase, according to the official SANA news agency.– AP/AFP

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