Syria doubles pay for civil servants, military personnel

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has decreed a 100-percent pay rise for civil servants and pensioners while fuel subsidies were lifted in a country ravaged by 12 years of war.

The Syrian economy has been battered by the conflict that has killed more than 500,000 people and displaced millions since it began in 2011.

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In two decrees issued late Tuesday, al-Assad doubled the salaries and pensions of those currently and formerly employed in the civil service and military, as well as contract workers.

Prior to the decision, the monthly salary of civil servants had been between around $10 and $25, depending on the Syrian pound’s street value.

The presidential decrees also set the minimum monthly wage in the private sector at 185,940 Syrian pounds, or about $13 on the black market.

In a separate statement late Tuesday, the commerce ministry announced the total lifting of subsidies on petrol and a partial lifting of subsidies on fuel oil.

As a result the price of petrol has risen to 8,000 pounds from 3,000 previously, and fuel oil to 2,000 pounds from 700 previously, according to the ministry.

The Syrian pound was trading at around 14,300 to the US dollar on Wednesday, according to unofficial monitoring websites, compared with the official rate of 8,542.

The currency has lost most of its value since the start of the war, when it was worth 47 against the greenback.

Most of the population has been pushed into poverty, according to the United Nations.

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