Facts about N epal Capital: Kathmandu

Language: Nepali (official) & 20 other languages divided into numerous dialects. Deri ved fr om Sanskri t, Nepali is related to the Indian language, Hindi, and is spoken by about 90 per cent of the population in either native or s econd language fluency. Many Nepal es e in government and business also speak English.

Time Zone: 5 hrs 45 min ahead of GMT

Curr ency: 1 Nepal es e Rupee (NR) di vided into 100 pais e Exchange Rate: 74.5 NR = 1 US Dollar

International Calling Code: 977 + city codes ( Kathmandu 1, Pokhara 61)

National Calendar: The Nepali year begins in mid -April and is divided into 12 months: Baisakh, Jestha, Asadh, Shrawan, Bhadra, Aswin, Kar tik, Marga, Poush, Phal gun, Chaitra. Saturday is the offic ial weekl y holiday.

Unification Day: 1768 (by Pri thvi Narayan Shah - First King)

Cons titution Birth: November 9, 1990

National Anthem: "May Glor y Cr own Our Illustrious Sover ei gn"

National Motto: "The Motherland Is Worth Mor e than the Kingdom of Heaven. "

National Bird: Danphe

National Flower: the spectacular rhododendr on 'gras ' in Nepali

Land:

Area Total: 140,800 km2, Area Land: 136,800 km2

indigenous & animis tic practi ces) Whil e Nepal is the onl y Hindu country in the world. Rais and Limbus in the east.27% (2001 census) Kathmandu Vall ey Population Grow th: 6%+ ( 2001 census) . Average annual pr ecipitation decr eas es f rom 1.200.000 (2001 census) Population growth rate: 2. 3% Muslim. Population: 23. Climate: N epal has a cli mate that ranges from subtropical summers wi th mild winter s in the southern lowlands to an alpi ne climate with cool s ummers as w ell as sever e winters in the mountains. strategi c location betw een India and Chines e -occupied Tibet. which account for nearly 80% o f the population.778 mm (70 inches) in the eas t to 899 mm (35 inches) in the wes t.Land us e: arable land: 17% per manent pastures: 15% for ests and woodland: 42% Geography: landlocked. As a result. Peopl e: Ethnic Gr oups: A mong the earlies t inhabitants w er e the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley and abori ginal Tharus in the s outhern Terai r egion. The Indo -Nepales e migrated from India and ar e ancestors of the Brahman and Chetri cas te groups. Buddhist and Hindu shrines and f est i vals ar e respected and celebrated by all. and Sherpas and Bhotias in the north. Religion: 90% Hind u (official state religi on) 5% Buddhist. Hinduism has s ynthesiz ed w ith Buddhis m in Nepal. including the Gurungs. extr emel y di vers e terrain ranging fr om f er tile plains and broad valleys to containing eight of the world's ten highes t peaks. 2% Other (Christian. Magars and Tamang in the w es t. The Tibeto -N epal es e account f or the r emainder and trace their ori gins to centr al Asia and Tibet.

500 Bhutanese r efugees.35 years (2000 es t.68 childr en born/woman (20 00 est.5% f emale ( 2001 census) Distribution: 15% Urban.) Total f ertility rate: 4. 90% of whom ar e in 7 United Nations Of fice of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps Issues: Illegal trafficking in women is one of the bi ggest iss ues fa cing N epal today. Nepali NGOs estimate that hundr eds of thous ands of N epali women.93 deaths/ 1. The United Nations has expr ess ed concern over the gr owing traffi cking and urged the Nepali and Indian authorities to initiate action to cur b this trade. mostl y teenagers ar e f orced to w ork in brothels in India. femal e: 57. large numbers of N epali young girls are s muggl ed by fl esh traders and forced into pros titution.) Death rate: 10.) Life expectancy at birth: total: 57.5% male.4 1 deaths/ 1.) Sex Distribution: 49.Birth rate: 33. 50.84 years mal e: 58.000 population (2000 es t.83 births/1.3 years.101 Rank: 159 / 191 (2000) . 85% Rural (2001 census) Note: refugee issue over the pr es ence in Nepal of approximatel y 96.000 population (2000 es t.000 live births (2000 es t.2 billion Rank: 77 / 191 countri es (2000) 'Real' GDP per capi ta: $1. Mumbia and Kolkatta. Economy: GDP: $US 27.) Infant mortality rate: 75. The fl esh trade is made si mpl er due to the open bor d er ens uring fr ee movement of peopl e. Lur ed by promises of employment in big Indian cities like N ew Delhi.

political instability five diff er ent governments over the past f ew years has hamper ed Kathmandu s ability to for ge consensus to implement key economic ref or ms. ar eas of r ecent for ei gn investment inter es t. and its susceptibility to natural disaster. Production of textiles and car pets has expanded r ecentl y and accounted f or about 80% of for eign exchange ear nings in the pas t thr ee years. grow th of jus t under 11%. its landlocked geograp hic location. and proj ected to achieve a grow th rate of six% in 2 000/ 01. its remoteness. A par t from agricultural land and for ests. providing a livelihood for over 80% of the population and accounting for 40% of GDP. cont inue to be a si gnificant source of for ei gn exchange. Much of this growth was spawned by the gr owth in the agricul tur e s ector. Mor e r ecently . Since May 1991.GDP Composition: agricultur e: 41% industr y: 22% ser vi ces: 37% Nepal is among the poor est and leas t developed countri es in the world with nearly half of its population li ving below the pover ty line. how ever. tobacco and grain. Indus trial acti vity mainly invol ves the pr ocessing of agricul tural produce including jute. Inflation declined in the first half of 1999/2000 r eaching 2% in Dec 2000 as food prices s tabilized. Nepal has considerabl e scope f or accel erating economi c gr owth by exploiting its poten tial in hydropow er and tourism. Agricultural production is growing by about five per cent on average as compar ed with annual population grow th of 2. Remittances fr om Nepal es e working abr oad. Agricultur e is the mainstay of the economy. . sugarcane.5%. Pros pects for for ei gn trade or investment in other s ectors remain poor due to the s mall size of the economy. hydr opow er and touris m. privatizing state industri es and laying off ci vil s er vants. the gover nment h as been moving forward with economic r efor ms particularl y thos e that encourage trade and for eign investment. its technological backwar dness. nearl y $1 billion in 1997. Economic Per for mance: Nepal experi enced positive upswings in most economic sectors during the pas t fiscal year of 1999/ 2000. The international community f unds mor e than 60% of the development budget and mor e than 28% of total budgetar y expenditur es. The government has also been cutting expenditur es by r educing subsidi es. exploitable natural r esources are mi ca.

oilseed and nutmeg.) The agricultur e s ector in N epal contributes 41% of the GDP and employs an es timated 81. Hydropow er exports ar e one of the major domes tic r es ources which can fuel . coff ee. rice. such as wood.000 bar rels of oil per day for products such as kerosene. Nepal is a net ener gy importer . ser vices 16%. Swift ri vers flowing s outh through the Himalayas have massive hydr oelectri city potential to s er vice domes tic needs and the gr owing demand from India. Noncommercial ener gy sour ces. The pri mar y food crops produced ar e barl ey. animal wastes. the larges t rise in many years.) sever e lack of skilled labor Labor by occupation: agricultur e 81%. d ies el. potatoes. and only s mall coal r es er ves. gasoline. The largest agricultural expor ts in 1998 wer e sugar cane. chi cken. sugar cane and wheat.2% of labor. buffalo. lamb and pork.8% (98/ 99 est. lentils. A gricultural expor ts in 1998 was $72. jet fuel. while agricultural i mpor ts in 1998 was $156.Trade: Expor ts ros e 28. and cr op residues. Commercial ener gy consumption in Nepal is made up of hydr oelectri city. and oil products. coal. The primary meat pr oducts are beef and veal.2 million. soybeans. maiz e.64%. mace and cardamon. Oil is the main import and in 1998 it is estimated that Nepal impor ted 10. account for a significant share of the country's total ener gy consumption. industry 3% Unemployment rate: subs tantial under employment (1999) Ener gy Nepal has no r es er ves of oil or gas. pulses. Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11. coconuts. duck.5 Labor for ce: 10 million (1996 es t.6% betw een 1999 and 2000 whil e imports also ros e 2 7.

flooding. intensity. Hydro pr ojects curr ently under constr uction in Nepal should nearl y doubl e the countr y's total gener ating capaci ty over the next two years. and duration of the summer mons oons. Major natural haz ards in Nepal include s ever e thunder storms.economic growth in N epal. biomass. This incl udes r emoving tr ees without measur es for replanting.over the next several years. and the expansion of agri cultural lands through non sustainabl e development methods. which r esults in wides pr ead def or estation and soil erosion. Water polluti on and contaminated water also pr es ents human health risks. ar e gaining popularity in Nepal. Nepal could be a lar ge net pow er producer and exporter and pri vate inves tment in hydropower development is growing rapidly. N epal's installed electri c generating curr ently is around 300 megawatts (MW). particularl y in remote r egions of the countr y. solar ener gy. how ever. the country faces fr equent pow er outages and shortages ( yet another obstacl e to economi c grow th). including mi cro -hydro. Rural el ectrification is a main priority of Nepal's current Fi ve . Nepal is a lso an earthquake prone ar ea due to the Himalayas. Gover nment: Executive branch . Environment Nepal's environmental chall enges ar e largel y a cons equence of its de pendence on fuel deri ved from wood. and possibly installing thous ands of s olar pow er units -. This will invol ve expanding the countr y 's trans mission and di stribution grid. Renewabl e ener gy. drought. At pr es ent. landslides.particularly in remote ar eas of the country .Year Plan. while onl y ar ound 15% of the countr y's population has acces s to el ectr icity. etc. Potentially. as w ell as famine r es ulting f rom the timing. Only a s mall share (around 1%) of N epal's potential hydroelectric power capacity curr entl y is bei ng exploited. but development of thes e r esources r equir es significant capi tal inves tment.

an advocate of a return to absolute monar chy. and crowned king 24 Februar y 1975. However. died of injuri es sustained during the palace shooting. The late Crown Princ e DI PEN DRA. was thought to be the gunmen who mas sacr ed nine peopl e in his family bef or e turning the gun on hims elf. who had been declar ed king immediately following Bir endra's death. some say.Chief of State: King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev Born in 1947. who is now consider ed the cr own prince. Paras. Educated in India and N epal. The late King BI REN DRA Bir Bikram Shah Dev s ucceeded to the throne 31 Januar y 1972 following the death of his father King MAHENDRA Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Gyanendr a is well known in Nepal for his cons er vation work. His youngest s on. Head of Government: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba Cabinet: appointed by the king on the r ecommendation of the PM Legislati ve branch . Most will be di vested in the near futur e to av oid any appearance of impropriety. Gyanendra is thought to be a mor e for ceful man tha n the late Bir endra. even. Dipendra. he has inter ests many ventur es throughout the kingdom. shortl y af ter his ascension to the thr one. who died in a shooting incident at the r oyal pa l ace on 1 June 2001. he has declar ed his suppor t for the continuity of Nepal's cons titutional monar chy. leads a contr oversial lifes tyle and has been at the center of numerous DUI fataliti es including a ver y popular s inger who died last year. King for t wo days while he lay in coma af ter the shooting incident. Gyanendra is the younger br other of the late King Bir endra. Gyanendra is mar ried and has two childr en. He is also interested i n developing the kingdom's touris m potential. A successful businessman. He was crowned king on the 4th after Bir endra's son.

and journalists have r eportedly been detained af ter covering alleged p olice abus es and corruption. chief justice is appointed by the king on recommendation of the Cons titutional Cou ncil. 35 appointed by the Hous e of Repr es entati ves. . Political par ties and l eaders: Nepali Congr es s (Girija Prasad Koirala. from Maois t to monarchis t. How ever. par ty chair) Rastri ya Jana Morcha (Chitra Bahadur K. chair man) Rastri ya Prajantra Party (Sur ya Bahadur Thapa). general s ecr etar y)Marxist - Leninist (Sahana Pradhan. Radio broadcasting started in 1951. 1/3 of the members el ected ever y two yrs to s er ve six.Bicameral Parliament consists of the National Council (60 s eats. the pr ess is consider ed to enjoy a fair amount of freedom.. Only about 10% of the population has access to television . C.L eninist (Madhav Kumar Nepal. and 15 elected by an el ectoral college. but the decision was contested. A range of publications. the other judges are appointed by the monarch on the r ecommendation of the Judicial Council. In Januar y 2001.onl y 14% have el ectrici ty.yr ter ms) and the House of Repr es entatives ( 205 s eats. Nepal Sadbhavana Par ty (Gajendra Narayan Singh. members el ected by popular vote to s er ve five. 10 by the king. while TV did not begin until 1986. chair man) Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal (Lila Mani Pokhar el. general secr etar y) Media Pr ess laws r estrict r eporting on the monarchy and national s ecurity. private FM stations wer e prohibited f rom airing news broadcas ts. party president) Communist Par ty of N epal / United Marxist. carr y cri ticism of the government. pr esident) Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (Narayan Man Bijukchhe.yr ter ms) Judicial branch Supr eme Cour t (Sarbochha Adalat).

Radio Kantipur. N epal's ol des t newspaper. Classic. Image Channel. Nepali Times (Eng) Weekl y Tel evision : N epal es e Tel evision Corporation (NTV) and SpaceTi me N etwork (began satellite tr ans mission in June 2001) Radio: Radio N epal (s tate . Music Channel.run) Hits FM (commercial) and Himalayan Broadcas ting Co. Private FM radio stations include Radio Sagar matha. H BC 94 FM. Space Time (Eng/N ep) and numer ous other Nepali dailies. Good Night .Newspaper s: The Kathmandu Post (Eng) / Kantipur (N ep) T he Rising N epal ( Eng) / Ghorkhapatra (N ep) state owned.

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