Nepal 2003Nepal

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Austrian Airlines

Nepal - Introduction 2003
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Background: In 1951 the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. A Maoist insurgency launched in 1996 has gained traction and is threatening to bring down the regime. In 2001 the Crown Prince massacred ten members of the royal family including the king and queen and then took his own life. In October 2002 the new king dismissed the prime minister and his cabinet for 'incompetence' after they dissolved the parliament and were subsequently unable to hold elections because of the ongoing insurgency. The country is now governed by the king and his appointed cabinet which has negotiated a cease-fire with the Maoist insurgents until elections can be held at some unspecified future date.

Nepal - Geography 2003
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Location: Southern Asia between China and India

Geographic coordinates: 28 00 N 84 00 E

Map referenceAsia

Total: 140,800 km²
Water: 4,000 km²
Land: 136,800 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Arkansas

Land boundaries
Total: 2,926 km
Border countries: (2) China 1,236 km; , India 1,690 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south

Terrain: Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south central hill region rugged Himalayas in north

Extremes lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m
Extremes highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (1999)

Natural resources: quartz water timber hydropower scenic beauty small deposits of lignite copper cobalt iron ore
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 20.27%
Permanent crops: 0.49%
Other: 79.24% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 11,350 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: severe thunderstorms flooding landslides drought and famine depending on the timing intensity and duration of the summer monsoons

Note: landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks including Mount Everest - the world's tallest - on the border with China

Nepal - People 2003
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Population: 26,469,569 (July 2003 est.)
Growth rate: 2.26% (2003 est.)
Below poverty line: 42% (1995-96)

Noun: Nepalese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Nepalese

Ethnic groups: Brahman Chetri Newar Gurung Magar Tamang Rai Limbu Sherpa Tharu and others (1995)

Languages: Nepali (official; spoken by 90% of the population) about a dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects; note - many in government and business also speak English (1995)

Note: only official Hindu state in the world (1995)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 39.7% (male 5,424,396; female 5,080,171)
15-64 years: 56.7% (male 7,692,134; female 7,320,059)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 468,697; female 484,112) (2003 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age
Total: 19.7 years
Male: 19.6 years
Female: 19.9 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 2.26% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 32.46 births/1000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 9.84 deaths/1000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (2003 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes agricultural runoff and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.07 male/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male/female
Total population: 1.05 male/female (2003 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate
Total: 70.57 deaths/1000 live births
Female: 72.27 deaths/1000 live births (2003 est.)
Male: 68.95 deaths/1000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 59 years
Male: 59.36 years
Female: 58.63 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.39 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.5% (2001 est.)
People living with hivaids: 58,000 (2001 est.)
Deaths: 2,400 (2001 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 45.2%
Male: 62.7%
Female: 27.6% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Nepal - Government 2003
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Nepal
Conventional short form: Nepal

Government type: parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy

Capital: Kathmandu

Administrative divisions: 14 zones (anchal singular and plural); Bagmati Bheri Dhawalagiri Gandaki Janakpur Karnali Kosi Lumbini Mahakali Mechi Narayani Rapti Sagarmatha Seti

Dependent areas

Independence: 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah)

National holiday: Birthday of King GYANENDRA 7 July (1946)

Constitution: 9 November 1990

Legal system: based on Hindu legal concepts and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: King GYANENDRA Bir Bikram Shah (succeeded to the throne 4 June 2001 following the death of his nephew, King DIPENDRA Bir Bikram Shah)
Head of government: Prime Minister Surya Bahadur THAPA (since 4 June 2003); note - Prime Minister CHAND resigned 30 May 2003
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
Note: King BIRENDRA Bir Bikram Shah Dev died in a bloody shooting at the royal palace on 1 June 2001 that also claimed the lives of most of the royal family; King BIRENDRA's son, Crown Price DIPENDRA, is believed to have been responsible for the shootings before fatally wounding himself; immediately following the shootings and while still clinging to life, DIPENDRA was crowned king; he died three days later and was succeeded by his uncle

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the National Council (60 seats; 35 appointed by the House of Representatives, 10 by the king, and 15 elected by an electoral college; one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (205 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Note: Nepal's Parliament was dissolved on 22 May 2002
Election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NC 37.3%, CPN/UML 31.6%, NDP 10.4%, NSP 3.2%, Rastriya Jana Morcha 1.4%, Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal 0.8%, NWPP 0.5%, others 14.8%; seats by party - NC 113, CPN/UML 69, NDP 11, NSP 5, Rastriya Jana Morcha 5, Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal 1, NWPP 1
Elections: House of Representatives - last held 3 and 17 May 1999 (next election NA)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Sarbochha Adalat (chief justice is appointed by the monarch on recommendation of the Constitutional Council; the other judges are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Judicial Council)

Political parties and leaders: Communist Party of Nepal/United Marxist-Leninist or CPN/UML [Madhav Kumar NEPAL general secretary]; National Democratic Party or NDP (also called Rastriya Prajantra Party or RPP) [Surya Bahadur THAPA chairman]; National People's Front (Rastriya Jana Morcha) [Chitra Bahadur chairman]; Nepal Sadbhavana (Goodwill) Party or NSP [Bhadri Prasad MANDAL acting party president]; Nepal Workers and Peasants Party or NWPP [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE party chairman]; Nepali Congress or NC [Girija Prasad KOIRALA party president; Sushil KOIRALA general secretary]; Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal [Lila Mani POKHAREL general secretary]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Jai Pratap RANA
In the us fax: [1] (202) 667-5,534
In the us consulates general: New York
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 667-4,550
In the us chancery: 2,131 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20,008
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Michael E. MALINOWSKI
From the us embassy: Panipokhari, Kathmandu
From the us mailing address: use embassy street address
From the us telephone: [977] (1) 411,179
From the us fax: [977] (1) 419,963

Flag descriptionflag of Nepal: red with a blue border around the unique shape of two overlapping right triangles; the smaller upper triangle bears a white stylized moon and the larger lower triangle bears a white 12-pointed sun

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Nepal - Economy 2003
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Economy overview: Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with 42% of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy providing a livelihood for over 80% of the population and accounting for 40% of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute sugarcane tobacco and grain. Textile and carpet production accounting for about 80% of foreign exchange earnings in recent years contracted in 2001-02 due to the overall slowdown in the world economy and pressures by Maoist insurgents on factory owners and workers. Security concerns in the wake of the Maoist conflict and the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks in the US have led to a decrease in tourism another key source of foreign exchange. Since 1991 the government has been moving forward with economic reforms e.g. by reducing business licenses and registration requirements to simplify investment procedures reducing subsidies privatizing state industries and laying off civil servants. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower and tourism areas of recent foreign investment interest. Prospects for foreign trade or investment in other sectors will remain poor however because of the small size of the economy its technological backwardness its remoteness its landlocked geographic location and its susceptibility to natural disaster. The international community's role of funding more than 60% of Nepal's development budget and more than 28% of total budgetary expenditures will likely continue as a major ingredient of growth.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -0.6% (2002 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 40%
Industry: 20%
Services: 40% (2002 est.)

Agriculture products: rice corn wheat sugarcane root crops; milk water buffalo meat

Industries: tourism carpet textile; small rice jute sugar and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production

Industrial production growth rate: 8.7% (FY 99/00)

Labor force
Note: severe lack of skilled labor (1996 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 81%
By occupation services: 16%
By occupation industry: 3%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 47% (2001 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 42% (1995-96)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 3.2%
Highest 10: 29.8% (1995-96)

Distribution of family income gini index: 36.7 (FY 95/96)

Revenues: $665 million
Expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY 99/00 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 16 July - 15 July

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2.8% (2001 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $720 million f.o.b. but does not include unrecorded border trade with India (2001 est.)
Commodities: carpets clothing leather goods jute goods grain
Partners: India 47.5% US 27.6% Germany 7.5% (2002)

Imports: $1.6 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Commodities: gold machinery and equipment petroleum products fertilizer
Partners: India 21.2% China 13% UAE 11.1% Singapore 8.5% Hong Kong 5.9% Saudi Arabia 4.9% Kuwait 4.1% (2002)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $2.55 billion (FY 00/01)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Nepalese rupees per US dollar - 77.88 (2002) 74.95 (2001) 71.09 (2000) 68.24 (1999) 65.98 (1998)

Nepal - Energy 2003
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.755 billion kWh (2001)
By source fossil fuel: 8.5%
By source hydro: 91.5%
By source other: 0% (2001)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 1.764 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity exports: 95 million kWh (2001)

Electricity imports: 227 million kWh (2001)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Nepal - Communication 2003
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
General assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile cellular telephone network
Domestic: NA
International: radiotelephone communications; microwave landline to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .np

Internet users: 60,000 (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Nepal - Military 2003
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $57.22 million (FY02)
Percent of gdp: 1.1% (FY02)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Nepal - Transportation 2003
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 45 (2002)
With paved runways total: 9
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 7 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 36
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 7
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 28 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 9
Over 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 7 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 36
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 7
Under 914 m: 28 (2002)



Total: 59 km
Narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2002)


Waterways: none

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Nepal - Transnational issues 2003
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Disputes international: joint border commission continues to work on small disputed sections of boundary with India; India has instituted a stricter border regime to restrict transit of Maoist insurgents

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West

Qatar Airways

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