Nepal Military, Economy and Transportation

Nepal Military, Economy and Transportation


Economy overview: Nepal is among the poorest and most backward countries in the world; almost half of its population lives below the poverty line. The basis of the economy is agriculture, which provides food for more than 80% of the population and gives 41% of GDP. The industry is mainly represented by enterprises for the processing of agricultural products, including jute, sugar cane, tobacco and cereals. Textile and carpet production volumes have recently increased; over the past three years, their exports have brought the country about 80% of foreign exchange earnings. Agricultural production is growing at an average of 5% per year; for comparison, the average population growth rate is 2.3%. From May 1991, the government began to implement economic reforms, focusing on promoting trade and attracting foreign investment, in particular, by simplifying the procedures for licensing and registering business activities. The government also cut spending by cutting subsidies, privatizing state-owned industrial enterprises, and laying off government employees. But the consequences of political instability (five governments have changed in the past five years) have prevented Kathmandu from reaching the consensus needed to implement key economic reforms. Nepal has significant potential for accelerating economic growth in the tourism and hydropower sectors, which have recently become the focus of interest from foreign investors. The prospects for foreign trade and investment in other sectors look less encouraging due to the underdevelopment of the economy, its technological backwardness, isolated and remote location of the country, as well as due to frequent natural disasters. The support of the international community, which provides more than 60% of the country’s development budget and more than 28% of its total budget expenditures, will most likely continue to be one of the main conditions for the growth of the Nepalese economy.
GDP: PPP $33.7 billion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 3.7% (2000 est.),
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $1,360 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 41%; industry: 22%; services: 37% (2000 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 42% (1995-96 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 3.2%; by the top 10% of families: 29.8% (1995-96).
Consumer Price Inflation Rate: 3.3% (FY99-2000 est.).
Work force: 10 million people (1996 est.); note: severe shortage of skilled workers.
Employment structure: agriculture 81%, services 16%, industry 3%.
Unemployment rate: no data; part-time employment is widespread (1999).
Budget: revenues: $536 million; expenditures: $818 million, including capital expenditures – NA (FY96-97 est.).
Spheres of economy: tourism, production of carpets and textiles; small enterprises processing rice, jute, sugar and sunflower seeds; tobacco industry; production of cement and bricks.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 1.255 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 9.56%; hydropower: 90.44%; nuclear fuel: 0%; n others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 1.309 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 68 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 210 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, buffalo meat.
Export: $485 million (free on board, 1998); this estimate does not take into account unrecorded border trade with India.
Exports: carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute products, grain.
Export partners: India 33%, US 26%, Germany 25% (FY97-98).
Import: $1.2 billion (free on board, 1998).
Import items: gold, machinery and equipment, oil products, fertilizers.
Import partners: India 31%, China and Hong Kong 16%, Singapore 14% (FY1997-98).
External debt: $2.4 billion (1997) Economic aid recipient: $411 million (FY97-98) \
Economic aid donor:
Currency: Nepalese rupee.
Currency code: NPR.
Exchange rate: NPR/USD – 74.129 (January 2001), 71.104 (2000), 68.253 (1999), 65.976 (1998), 58.010 (1997), 56.692 (1996).
Fiscal year: July 16-July 15.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 236 816 (January 2000).
Mobile cellular phones: no data available.
Telephone system: poor telephone and telegraph connection; reasonably good radiotelephony and mobile cellular communication system; internal: no data; international: radiotelephone communication; shortwave land line to India; satellite ground stations – 1 Intel-sat (Indian Ocean region).
Broadcast stations: AM – 6, FM – 5, shortwave – 1 (January 2000).
Radio receivers: 840,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 1 (and 9 repeaters) (1998).
TVs: 130,000 (1997).
Internet country code: np
Internet Service Providers: 6 (2000).
Number of users: 35,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: total length: 59 km; note – all railways are in Kosi (near the Indian border); narrow gauge: 59 km (0.762 m gauge).
Roads: total length: 13,223 km; coated: 4,073 km; unpaved: 9,150 km (April 1999).
Ports and harbours: none.
Airports: 45 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 8; over 3,047 m: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; 914 to 1523 m: 6 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 37; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:7; less than 914 m: 29 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the Armed Forces: Royal Nepalese Army (including Air Force), Nepalese Police. See to know more about Nepal Military.
Enlistment age: 17 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 6,295,990 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 3,272,077 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 292,589 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $44 million (FY96-97)
Military spending as part of GDP: 0.9% (FY96-97)

International Issues

International Issues International Disputes: Nepal’s estimated 100,000 Bhutanese refugees remain unresolved; 90% of them are located in seven refugee camps under the auspices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Illicit drugs: manufacturer of cannabis destined for the local and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West.

Nepal Military