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Nepal (2006)

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Administrative divisions 14 zones (anchal, singular and plural); Bagmati, Bheri, Dhawalagiri, Gandaki, Janakpur, Karnali, Kosi, Lumbini, Mahakali, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Sagarmatha, Seti
Age structure 0-14 years: 38.7% (male 5,648,959/female 5,291,447)

15-64 years: 57.6% (male 8,365,526/female 7,925,941)

65 years and over: 3.7% (male 513,777/female 541,497) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Airports 48 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 10

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 38

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 29 (2006)
Area total: 147,181 sq km

land: 143,181 sq km

water: 4,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Arkansas
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, especially after a negotiated cease-fire between the Maoists and government forces broke down in August 2003. 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. While stopping short of reestablishing parliament, the king in June 2004 reinstated the most recently elected prime minister who formed a four-party coalition government. Citing dissatisfaction with the government's lack of progress in addressing the Maoist insurgency and corruption, the king in February 2005 dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency, imprisoned party leaders, and assumed power. The king's government subsequently released party leaders and officially ended the state of emergency in May 2005, but the monarch retained absolute power until April 2006. After nearly three weeks of mass protests organized by the seven-party opposition and the Maoists, the king allowed parliament to reconvene on 28 April 2006.
Birth rate 30.98 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.153 billion

expenditures: $1.789 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (FY05/06)
Capital name: Kathmandu

geographic coordinates: 27 43 N, 85 19 E

time difference: UTC+5.75 (10.75 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
Constitution 9 November 1990
Country name conventional long and short form: Nepal

local long and short form: Nepal
Death rate 9.31 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $3.34 billion (March 2005)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador James F. MORIARTY

embassy: Panipokhari, Kathmandu

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [977] (1) 411-1179

FAX: [977] (1) 441-9963
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)

chancery: 2131 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 667-4550

FAX: [1] (202) 667-5534

consulate(s) general: New York
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 and illegal cross-border activities
Economic aid - recipient $424 million (FY00/01)
Economy - overview Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with almost one-third of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for three-fourths of the population and accounting for 38% of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Security concerns relating to the Maoist conflict have led to a decrease in tourism, a key source of foreign exchange. 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, its civil strife, and its susceptibility to natural disaster.
Electricity - consumption 1.85 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 111 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 241 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 2.565 billion kWh (2005)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m

highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
Environment - 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
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups Chhettri 15.5%, Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Muslim 4.2%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, unspecified 2.8% (2001 census)
Exchange rates Nepalese rupees per US dollar - 71.368 (2005), 73.674 (2004), 76.141 (2003), 77.877 (2002), 74.949 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: King GYANENDRA Bir Bikram Shah (since 4 June 2001)

head of government: Prime Minister Girija Prasad KOIRALA (since 30 April 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers Khadga Prasad OLI (since 2 May 2006) and Amik SHERCHAN since June 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet historically appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; note - the prime minister selected the Cabinet in May 2006 in consultation with the political parties

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; note - following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition historically has been appointed prime minister by the monarch
Exports 111 million kWh (2005)
Exports $822 million f.o.b.; note - does not include unrecorded border trade with India (2005 est.)
Exports NA bbl/day
Exports - commodities carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
Exports - partners India 53.7%, US 17.4%, Germany 7.1% (2005)
Fiscal year 16 July - 15 July
Flag description 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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 38%

industry: 21%

services: 41% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.7% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 28 00 N, 84 00 E
Geography - note landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest - on the borders with China and India respectively
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 39.1% (2003-2004)
Illicit drugs illicit producer of cannabis and hashish for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West
Imports 241 million kWh (2005)
Imports $2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports 11,760 bbl/day NA bbl/day
Imports - commodities gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer
Imports - partners India 47.5%, UAE 11.2%, China 10.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.9%, Kuwait 4.1% (2005)
Independence 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah)
Industrial production growth rate 3.8% (FY04/05)
Industries tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production
Infant mortality rate total: 65.32 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 63.56 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 67.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7.8% (October 2005 est.)
Irrigated land 11,700 sq km (2003)
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)
Labor force 10.4 million

note: severe lack of skilled labor (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 76%

industry: 6%

services: 18%
Land boundaries total: 2,926 km

border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km
Land use arable land: 16.07%

permanent crops: 0.85%

other: 83.08% (2005)
Languages Nepali 47.8%, Maithali 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5% (2001 census)

note: many in government and business also speak English
Legal system based on Hindu legal concepts and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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)

elections: House of Representatives - last held in May 1999; note - Parliament was dissolved in May 2002 but was finally reconvened in April 2006 with most of the members that were elected in 1999

election results: House of Representatives (for 1999 parliament) - percent of vote by party - NC 37.3%, CPN/UML 31.6%, NDP (RPP) 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; note - NC, NSP, and NDP have since each split into two parties
Life expectancy at birth total population: 60.18 years

male: 60.43 years

female: 59.91 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 48.6%

male: 62.7%

female: 34.9% (2000-2004 est.)
Location Southern Asia, between China and India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Royal Nepalese Army (includes Royal Nepalese Army Air Service); Nepalese Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $104.9 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.5% (2005 est.)
National holiday Birthday of King GYANENDRA, 7 July (1946)
Nationality noun: Nepalese (singular and plural)

adjective: Nepalese
Natural hazards severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
Natural resources quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
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) [Pashupati Shumsher RANA, chairman]; Nepali Congress-Democratic [Sher Bahadur DEUBA, president]; Nepali Congress or NC [Girija Prasad KOIRALA, party president, Sushil KOIRALA, vice president]; Nepal Sadbhavana (Goodwill) Party or NSP - Mandal [Bhadri Prasad MANDAL, party president]; Nepal Sadbhavana Party - Ananda Devi [Ananda DEVI, president]; Nepal Workers and Peasants Party or NWPP [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE, party chairman]; People's Front Nepal (Rastriya Jana Morcha) [Amik SHERCHAN, chairman]; Rastriya Janashakti Party or RJP [Surya Bahadur THAPA, chairman]; note - split from RPP in March 2005; Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal [leader NA]; note - merged with People's Front Nepal or PFN in 2002
Political pressure groups and leaders Maoist guerrilla-based insurgency [Pushpa Kamal DAHAL, also known as PRACHANDA, chairman; Dr. Baburam BHATTARAI]; numerous small, left-leaning student groups in the capital; several small, radical Nepalese antimonarchist groups
Population 28,287,147 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line 31% (2003-2004)
Population growth rate 2.17% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (January 2000)
Railways total: 59 km

narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2005)
Religions Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)

note: only official Hindu state in the world
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile cellular telephone network

domestic: NA

international: country code - 977; radiotelephone communications; microwave landline to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 448,600 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 248,800 (2005)
Television broadcast stations 1 (plus 9 repeaters) (1998)
Terrain Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north
Total fertility rate 4.1 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 42% (2004 est.)
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