Nepal's most possessed natural resource is water. A land-locked country it may be, but the country is blessed by snow-capped mountains which feed Nepal land. Rivers are not only for rafters but also for businessmen. More than 80% of Nepal's electricity is generated by rivers. Snow-capped Himalayas are the main sources of Nepali rivers. Nepal has altitude ranging from 60 meter to all the way upto 8848 meters (Mt everest), the highest altitude of the earth. Some of the fastest running rivers in the world are located here. There are three major rivers in Nepal namely Kosi River, Gandaki River and Karnali River which lie across east to west running from north to south. Surroundings of most rivers are in their natural settings. Nepali rivers are paradise to River Rafters who just can't have enough of angry and mad rivers. Need we mention Himalayan Water? It's all here in this beautiful country. No matter how many rivers you have rafted here, there is always a river waiting to be explored.
Quick Facts on Rivers and Relevant
Nepal is a mine of water. In Nepali "Nepal Pani Ko Khani Ho", this statement is taken literally. (Translation : Pani - water, Khani - Mine), This is a very popular phrase used and honored by Nepalese everyday. Nepal is a rich country of water. Nepal's Total Area is 147,181 sq km of which land is 143,181 sq km and water is 4,000 sq km - source CIA the World Fact Book. So 3% of Nepal is water which includes rivers, lakes, and ponds Arun River of Nepal shares the name of Arun River of United Kingdom, isn't that interesting ? Karnali is Nepal's largest and longest River. Nepal is a mountainous country, most of its rivers have mountains as the source. Nepal is prone to natural disasters like floods and land and slides. Major Rivers continue to shift their path and go deeper. World's 39th longest River Ganges starts from the Himalayas of Nepal. The river is 2510 K.M Nepal's about 70% of the population is in Rural Areas. Less than 20% of Rural people have access to Electricity. 80% of Nepalese depend on Agriculture. Rivers are a good source to Agriculture business. More than 220 billions cubic meters of water run through Nepal every year.
8 of the 10 snow-capped and highest mountains in the world are located in Nepal. Nepal Himalaya is the source of most rivers of Nepal The largest river in the world is Nile River which is 6516 Kms All major rivers start from Tibet, transverse through Nepal, then join Ganga River of India before finally meeting the heavenly sea. Of all the rivers in the world having more than 600 miles (965.60 km) in length, 90% are located in the United Sates of America Water is the #1 natural resources of Nepal. The others are quartz, timber, hydro power, lignite, copper and cobalt.
List of Major Rivers (this table is being populated, so please check-back later for more data here...)
Name of River Arun River Nepal Bagmati River Dudh Kosi River River Length (Runoff) L L L River Originating Remarks Location / Altitude A A A tribe indigenous to northeastern Nepal, living west of the Arun River in the area drained by the Sun Kosi River. Remarks Remarks Remarks / Notes Remarks The biggest and the largest river of Nepal which provides tons of rapids for river-rafters and awesome side-trip for eco-tourists Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks Remarks
Kali Gangaki Length (Miles / Highest Point River Kilometers) (Feet / Meters) Kankai Mai River Karnali River Kulekhani River L A
Length (Miles / Highest Point Kilometers) (Feet / Meters) L A A A A A A A A A A
Lothar Khola L River Narayani Koshi River Mahakali River Mahananda River Sapt Koshi Mahananda River Mahananda River Sharada Khola Seti River Tamur River L L L L L L L L
The only river that remains to follow without 130 Miles (210 15419 ft (4700 M) causing any harm to land. Everything in its path to Km) the right or left is as it is as given by the Nature! L A Remarks
Trisuli River L A Remarks footnote: L,A and remarks are being updated, please stay with us...
Rivers and Fun
Rafting is a popular sport of Nepal. You probably already know about the number one sport of Nepal, don't you ? Here is the answer if you need! Nepal's rivers are mad, fast and furious, they provide tons of river fun. But don't be scared, some rivers are here for the easy riders too. Unspoilt Magnificent Natural surroundings add to the beauty of these rivers which will multiply your fun. Rafting is more about getting closer to the heavenly Shangrila of Nepal than losing paddles in the water! Do rafting here, you will be glad you did it. Just make sure you get hold of the right guys. Visit our Web Directory - List of Exclusive River Rafting Operators >> and Learn all about Rafting Sport of Nepal here >> It is worth carrying a water-proof camera, safety jackets, first-aid kits, tents and camps but you can leave all to our professional companies too. This sport did not become popular over-night, its popularity does say a lot about how well Nepal is prepared to take you to the rivers.
Rivers and Hydro-power Business in Nepal
"Hydro power could help alleviate poverty" -- United Nations Many of Nepal's rivers such as the Karnali, Seti, and Gandaki are fueled by the Himalayas. These rivers rush through 8848m altitude from sea level to 60m. Extreme elevation of the land helps these rivers fly! And they carry water to generate more than 90,000 mW of electricity. Currently Nepal produces less than 2% of it's capacity. So why hasn't anything been done to get closer to 98% of this open business ? Many small sized hydro power plants are being currently setup. Lack of infrastructure such as roads, government policy, war and conflict in the region has slowed down many projects. In Nepal, there are more plans than actions. There are plans to elevate poverty, such plans go through numbers like these.. Plan 1 to Plan 20. There are also plans to setup hydro-power projects to make nepal sufficient of electricity and also earn foreign revenue by selling it. Hydro power Plans have similar numbers like Plan 1 and Plan 2 and so on. They are as boring as the talks of political leaders. Everybody loves pointing their fingers at the other Government, and Every Government operates for about an year before it is replaced by another. When the new Government comes to office, they argue why plan-numbers were not long, so they add Plan 21 through Plan 9999 before saying good bye! In last 10 years alone, Nepal had more than 10 different governments, about one new government per year. In case you were interested, there are hydro-power plans for upto year 2030, by which they believe Nepal will produce enough electricity for the entire country as well as start making some money by selling it!
Many small to medium sized, some privately owned hydropower plants are being setup in many part of the country, proving to all foreign investors that Nepal's rivers are good for business. Read about Nepal's War and how Nepal is unfolding, some argue is it really ? Also visit blogs by Nepalese who have good coverage on what Nepali Government really is. See Web Directory > Nepali Blogs Also check out this nice PDF File which has Nepal Power Development Map, lot of small to large
scale hydro power projects, some active and some just sleeping ones...NepalHydro.org.np : PDF : 2001 Publications
Himalayas of Nepal Briefs on the Himalayas with photos Lakes of Nepal photos of some major lakes in the country
Karnali (Chisapani) Multipurpose Project (10,800 MW): The site of the Karnali Multipurpose Project, also Chisapani Dam Project, is located in the Karnali Gorge, immediately upstream of the Terai. The project has a catchment area of 43,679 km², covering nearly 30% of Nepal. The long-term average river flow is 1,389 m3/s, with an average dry season flow (November–May) of 451 m3/s a...Nepal
With the expectation to supplement domestic private investment through foreign capital flows, transfer of technology, enhancement in management skills and productivity and to get into the global market, Nepal finally opened its door for foreign investment by adopting the most liberal economic policies. The Government of Nepal has also created a competitive and investment friendly environment by making the administrative procedures simple and easy and also providing attractive incentives and facilities to the foreign investors making Nepal one of the safest and suitable business destinations in the world. The law of Nepal also assures the security of investments against nationalization. Besides this, Nepal being a member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) assures the foreign investors against non-commercial risks like currency transfer, breach of contract, war and civil disturbances in the country. As of July 2004, according to the statistics of foreign investment division of Department of Industry, there are about 905 foreign direct investment projects in Nepal that worth approximately US$ 1.65 billion. These projects in the sectors like Agriculture/Forestry; Manufacturing; Energy; Construction; Mineral; Tourism and other Service related industries have generated employment opportunities to almost 95,000 people in Nepal. India, USA, China, UK, Norway, Japan, South Korea and Germany are the leading countries with highest number of projects in Nepal. Any investor can establish an industry or a project in Nepal with the approval and permission of the Department of Industry under His Majesty’s Government of Nepal. In order to obtain the permission, the foreign investor should first submit an application to the Department. There are various forms of foreign investment like shares, loans, etc. either in joint venture or cent percent foreign. Almost every sector in Nepal is open for investment like manufacturing, energy, tourism, mining, agro based industries. But cottage, arm and ammunition industries; explosives and atomic energy; real estate; poultry and fisheries; and some other sensitive industries directly relating to public health, environment and defense are a few exceptions for foreign investment. The potential foreign investor is granted six months non-tourist visa for the feasibility study. Until the investment of a foreign investor is retained in Nepal, he/she and his/her dependents will be granted a business visa. If an investor makes a lump sum investment of US$ 100,000 or its equivalent in a
convertible currency and as long as he/she retains investment in Nepal, he/she is granted a residential visa along with his/her dependents. Some incentives and facilities accorded by the Government to foreign investors: No income tax on (a) dividends (b) export earning (c) interest earned on foreign loan. Reimbursement of (a) customs duty and sales tax on raw materials meant for industrial use (b) sales tax and excise duty levied on products sold to Export Promotion House (c) the customs duty, sales tax, excise duty and premium levied on raw materials, etc. used for production by an export industry (d) excise duty, sales tax and premium levied on any product and customs duty, excise duty and sales tax levied on the raw materials, auxiliary raw materials, etc., used for the production of goods sold within the country in foreign currency (e) customs duty, sales tax, excise duty and premium levied on inputs used for production of intermediate goods to be used for the production of exportable goods including refund on the sales tax and excise duty paid on intermediate goods on the basis of the quantity of exports within sixty days from the date of export (f) excise duty or sales tax or both to the industry using duty-and tax-paid raw materials, chemicals and packing materials. A deduction of (a) 40 % of the value of new additional fixed assets from taxable income to industries which diversify production through reinvestments or expanding installed capacity by 25 % or more or modernize technology or develop ancillary industries (b) up to 50 % from the taxable income for the investment made on process or equipment for non-pollution (c) 10% from gross profit that goes for technology or product development and skill enhancement (d) 5% or less of the gross income, spent on publicity and promotional services, hospitality and any other similar permissible expenses. 15% of income tax on income earned as technical fees as well as royalty. Exemption of tax, duty and fee on the products, machinery, equipment, tools and raw materials used by an export industry. Capitalization of pre-operating expenses incurred for skill development and training. An additional of 10 % rebate on income tax to any industry providing direct employment to 600 or more Nepalese citizens. No royalty on captive power generation for the industry's own use and no double sales tax on the raw materials and products. Apart from all these, a foreign investor can employ an expert or technical personnel in the foreign investment project from his/her particular country upon the permission of the Labor Department and these experts can remit up to 75% of their income in convertible currency. About Nepal Nepal lies in between the most populous countries of the world, India and China and maintains very good economic rapport with her neighbors which are also excellent trading partners with huge potentials for Nepalese exports. While Nepal has preferential trading arrangement with India, she has very close economic ties with China. Other close neighbors of Nepal are Bangladesh and Pakistan. Nepal and Bangladesh have already started bilateral trade through land route. Nepal along with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the seven member countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The SAARC nations have a Preferential Trading Arrangement and are heading to free trade area under the SAARC framework. The labor cost of Nepal is comparatively very low. Semiskilled and skilled laborers are plenty so as the unskilled laborers who generally work for 8 hours a day and 48 hours a week with a half and hour lunch break which is moreover known as tiffin break. The wage and salary of any of these groups is also lower than in any other developing countries. The permanent workers are entitled to 13 days of public holidays, 15 days of sick leave with pay or half pay. Female employees are entitled to 52 days paid maternity leave but all these employee benefits and facilities vary from one organization to the other. The retirement age in Nepal is 55 but in some cases, it can be extended to the age of 60. Most
of the offices in Nepal are closed Saturdays and Sundays like the Government organizations; Banks; Diplomatic Corps, etc. but others work from Sunday through Friday – six days a week. Banking Service The Central Bank of Nepal - Nepal Rastra Bank, the two indigenous commercial banks - Nepal Bank and Rastriya Banijya Bank, other joint venture and commercial banks and financial corporations provides loans and full fledged services. The commercial banks also determine the open market exchange rate. There are insurance companies also providing insurance services. Scope for foreign investment in Hydro Power Nepal has a huge potential of hydro power that comes to about 83,000 MW out of which 43,000 MW is economically viable. Until now, Nepal has not been able to exploit much of its potentiality and the people in Nepal still face severe power shortages. In order to harness and develop hydropower, private sectors were involved to carry out small and medium sized hydro power projects. Similarly the government is encouraging private foreign investment in this sector. A number of projects for feasibility studies and development has also been recognized which are as follows: Hydro Power Projects identified for Feasibility Study Khimti Khola - 2 (27 MW) Lower Arum (308 MW) Kali Gandaki - 2 (660 MW) Burhi Gandaki (600 MW) Tila River (203 MW) Naumure (245 MW) Tama Koshi - 3 (287 MW) Upper Trishuli (300MW) Mai Loop (60 MW) Tama Koshi - 2 (207 MW) Upper Marshland - 3 (121 MW) Hydro Power Projects identified for Development Chameliya (30 MW) Budhi Ganga (20 MW) Kabeli - A (30 MW) Arun - 3 (402 MW) Kankai (60 MW) Likhu - 4 (51 MW) Dudh Koshi - 1 (300 MW) Tamur - Mewa (101MW) Rahughat Khola (27 MW) Andhi Khola (176 MW) Upper Arun (335 MW) Scope for foreign investment in other areas/sectors Tourism also avails high scope for foreign investment opportunities. As of the July 2004 statistics of Department of Industry, there are about 218 foreign direct investment projects in this sector. As of July 2004, there are 14 projects under Agriculture and Forestry. Medicinal and Aromatic Herbs; Flower and Vegetable Seeds; Floriculture and Sericulture; Processing of Spices, Coffee; Fruits and Dairy Products; Vegetable and Mushroom Farming and Tea comes under this sector. Mineral that includes Stone and Limestone; Talc; Silica; Dolomite; Iron-ore; Oil and Natural Gas needs to be further explored. There are 3 foreign direct investment projects in this sector. Areas like Computer Software Development; Leather and Textile; Pharmaceutical; Electronic and the Service Industries also carry high possibilities of foreign investment. As per the same statistics of July 2004, there are 435 Manufacturing; 15 Energy Based; 17 Construction and 203 Service Industries related foreign direct investment projects in Nepal.
Although the Government of Nepal is open to foreign direct investment with all its liberal policies, sometimes its implementation policies seems unclear with the bureaucratic delays and inefficiency but it should not be considered as an obstacle towards the foreign investment in Nepal. Article by visitnepal.com editor
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE KATHMANDU: Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has proposed to observe the year 2012 as „Nepal Investment Year‟. The federation proposed to introduce Nepal in the map of international investment, increase the investment in industrial sector, create more jobs and adopt the investment as a main economic policy of the country, in an interaction here today. Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun said that the government would move ahead by taking the private sector into confidence to build strong foundation of national economy. The umbrella organisation of Nepal‟s private sector has indicated some major problems for the investment environment in Nepal. “Lack of conducive environment for investment, energy crisis, poor infrastructure facilities, liquidity crunch and high interest rate, labour unrest and illegal tax are major stumbling blocks to the industrial environment,” the federation asserted. Speaking at the programme, finance minister Pun said that present government has embraced the private sector as a key player for development. The government will give a priority to the economic prosperity along with political stability, he said. According to him, Nepal should take advantages from surging economic prosperity achieved by its neighbours – China and India. Similarly, newly-appointed vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Dipendra Bhahadur Kshetri, emphasised on the need of improvments the labour sector. “The existing labour unrest should be ended at the earliest,” he said. President of the FNCCI Suraj Baidhya called on the government to create investment-friendly environment to boost up morale of private sector for investment and create employment in the country.
Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges For Mobile Education
Thursday, 25 August 2011 / Bhumika Ghimire Tags: developing countries, education, internet, mobile learning, Mobile Phone, nepal, Technology Regions: Nepal Compared to neighboring India and China, Nepal was a late entrant to the information revolution that swept the region in the 1990s. With limited infrastructure, an unstable political system and no skilled labor force, the country was forced to stand by and watch while others tried to make sense of the changes the new technology was pushing. Now, two decades later, Nepal is no longer on the sidelines. From education to business, healthcare and entertainment, the country is enthusiastically embracing information technology, with young people leading the charge to make the country more technologyfriendly.With the explosive growth in smart phone and mobile Internet market, more and more people are now connected to the information superhighway. Although there are still many areas where Nepal could improve access to technology and make it easier and cheaper, the gains made over the years are encouraging and show that the country has significant untapped potential.
Nepal’s education sector has suffered years of neglect, inadequate funding and political meddling. Schools in poor, rural areas lack basic physical facilities and trained teachers. The government allocates and distributes funds for these schools every year.This year’s budget allocated US$ 8 billion for education – up 25% from last year, and 17% of the total budget. A great step forward, but lax oversight and an inability to root out corruption has meant that large amounts of funds simply disappear before being put to good use. In urban areas too public schools lack proper facilities and funding. In the capital Kathmandu, alongside gleaming private schools that boast of the highest quality education money can buy and teachers from the best univerisities stand dilapalated public schools whose students struggle to compete with their private school counterparts. Private schools are limited outside urban areas and in any case are beyond the reach – or pockets! – of many families. This publicprivate school gulf further perpetuates the divide between the haves and have nots in the community. While the public schools wait for government and public attention, their students are denied quality education. This is not to say that all rural public schools are poor performers or that private schools are always the best option. However, the disporportionate number of rural public schools that fail should set alarm bells ringing in Kathmandu.
School kids at Ranighat, Nepal. Photo by Argenberg, via Wikimedia Commons.
Universities and Political Meddling
Public universities too are neglected in Nepal, their fate is similar to public schools. Students routinely complain of lack of adequate laboratory materials, too much politicization of university affairs and also that the curriculum does not keep pace with the new technology. Private universities are trying to fill the gap, but for the majority of students, these instutions are prohibitively expensive and their desire to stay urban-centered keeps them out of the reach of students in rural areas. Among all the issues plaguing Nepal’s public education institutions, direct or indirect political meddling has perhaps had the most negative impact. Even primary schools are not left untouched. Political parties and their youth wings recruit students – usually those in high school and university- and use them as pawns to further their education and social strategies. Under-aged students are often forced to take part in political events without their parents’ or guardian’s consent.
Technology to the Rescue
According to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority, there are more than 6 million GSM mobile phone subscribers in Nepal. Take into account other kinds of service users and the country has about 7 million mobile phone users. This is much higher than the number of households with access to the internet (about 630,000, 2009 data). The other interesting aspect of Nepal’s mobile phone users is that they are not centered in any one part of the country. The market has shown growth across the whole country, even in rural areas without proper roads and means of transportation, although compared to urban areas the rate of growth there is much slower. This presents an opportunity for mobile education in Nepal. Education institutions – profit seeking or non-profit – can develop course materials and send them via text messaging to subscribers. Incoming messages are provided free of charge while outgoing messages are charged at less than a penny by most mobile phone service providers. Charging a flat rate fee for the course or selling advertising can generate revenue for the institutions. The messages, 160 characters long (a typical tweet is 140 characters) may not be suitable for subjects requiring analysis or calculations like economics, pure science or mathematics, but for basic courses in English, civics, history, and geography, they can be a great boon. With the mobile internet – although this may not be feasible for those in rural areas or with financial constraints – the institutions can provide an option for students to take online courses, as a supplement to the text messages. Educational messaging can be of great service, especially to students in rural areas who have little or no access to the internet or a library. The messages can supplement their outside reading and learning requirements. They can also be a way to spread awarness about diseases, social issues and natural disasters in hard to reach areas.
No More Strikes
In Nepal with its political uncertainities, strikes -known locally as banda – are a common occurance. Political interference in the education sector means that even schools and universities are victimized. Cathy Cavanaugh, associate professor at the university of Florida and a former Fulbright scholar, has noted that Nepali students are losing precious school hours due to frequent strikes: “In recent years, dozens of strikes have brought school, work, and travel to a standstill around Kathmandu. It does not take many unanticipated days out of school to amount to a significant proportion of the school year. And it does not take many missed school days to noticeably impact student academic performance. American researchers recently studied this impact by investigating the effect of snow days on student learning outcomes, finding that as few as 4 days of school missed in a year because of snow storms reduced student exam scores.” Cavanaugh suggests implementing mobile or online learning to compensate for school hours lost due to strikes. Given the fast growing telecom market in Nepal and the ready availability of trained professionals, mobile learning is not an impossible goal for the country. It is an investment in the country’s education sector and could produce great results - but is the Nepal’s physical infrastructure dependable enough?
Market growth and investment from the private and public sector in technology education has strengthened information technology’s soft side in Nepal while the backbone – the infrastructure – still remains on shaky ground. Poor voice quality, frequent dropped calls, and technical problems plaguing the masts are the most common problems facing Nepal’s mobile phone service providers. The ten year long conflict also dealt a severe blow to the already fragile infrastructure. Now with the country’s industrial sector in shambles and the economy sliding, the country is slow to invest in strengthening existing structures and building new ones. On the policy level too there are roadblocks which can mainly be ascribed to the unstable political environment and lack of consistent leadership.
Mobile learning through text messaging, and online courses present a broad window of opportunity for Nepal’s educational institutions and also for the government. It can supplement classroom instruction and also provide a way for students to minimize the loss of hours caused by frequent strikes. For the government, this could be a great way of strengthening public schools which could even sell advertising to raise extra revenue. Private educational institutions too can use mobile learning to supplement classroom learning and as a revenue generator. It would be a great leap forward if the private and public sector enter a partnership and push mobile learning as a national priority, subsidizing the service for rural and financially disadvantaged students. As the country’s history has proven, education is the best and most effective way to strengthen the people. Mobile education presents a fresh opportunity to focus on education, an opportunity Nepal must not ignore.
world bank site
Nepal Country Overview 2011
Updated September 2011 Overview | Current Challenges | World Bank in Nepal | Current Lending Overview Political instability has been the defining feature of the Nepali state during the last two decades. Nepal has had 20 governments since the introduction of democracy in 1990. The country is still emerging from a violent 10-year conflict with some aftershocks. In the past five years, Nepalis have witnessed the signing of a peace agreement between the former Maoist rebels and the state, a new Interim Constitution, the election of a Constituent Assembly, the abolition of monarchy and declaration of a federal republic, five governments, and the rise of strong ethnic identity movements. The political compact around a new Constitution that endorses the devolution of power, social and political inclusion, democratic elections, and political accountability represents an opportunity in this transition. However, major milestones of the peace process are yet to be met and progress in constitutionwriting has been slow. The new constitution is supposed to lead to a major restructuring of the state as Nepal will adopt federalism as a fundamental principle of governance. Elections both at national and local levels are planned after the constitution is promulgated. The conflict and the prolonged transition to peace and stability have contributed to a progressive erosion of the effectiveness of some state institutions. For instance, poor law and order is a growing concern, particularly in certain geographic areas. Also, the conflict raised awareness that the Nepali state had been associated with exclusionary political, social, and economic institutions that did not reflect the country’s diversity. This has led to the rise of identity politics with an increasing demand for state recognition and greater accommodation of diverse
social, cultural, and ethnic identities. The CA provides an inclusive forum to negotiate these issues, but its potential has not yet been fully utilized. Informal political forums and ‘street actions’ are popular as approaches to resolving politically contested issues. Also, Nepal’s local government officials elected in 1999 were dismissed in 2002; the lack of elected local officials increases the challenge of making the state downwardly accountable to its citizens.
Nevertheless, Nepal has made impressive progress on several social indicators: The proportion of poor people has declined substantially in recent years from 42 percent in 1995-96 to 31 percent in 2003-04. More recent estimates show that since 2004, the national poverty rate may have declined further. Net Primary Enrollment in schools has increased from 81 percent in 2002 to 94.5 percent in 2010. Gender and social parity have been achieved in primary education. The Gender Parity Index for secondary school net enrollment has also increased from 0.87 (2007) to 0.98 (2010). The Maternal Mortality Rate declined from 538 in 1996 to 380 per 100,000 live births, earning Nepal the MDG Millennium Award in 2010. The Infant Mortality Rate dropped from 79 in 1996 to 39 in 2010. At least one-third of deliveries are now in the presence of trained health workers. Full immunization coverage rose from 43 percent in 1996 to 83 percent in 2006. Gender disparities in political participation are decreasing both in elected and administrative government. Women now make up over 30 percent of the representatives in parliament. Implementation of an inclusion policy of women in the civil service shows positive trends. Nepal’s economic growth continues to be adversely affected by the political uncertainty. Real GDP growth was 4.6 percent in FY10—following 4.4 percent in FY09. Sources of growth include agriculture, construction, financial and other services, and consumption fueled by remittances. Remittance growth slowed to 11 percent (in Nepali Rupee terms) from above 40 percent during the two previous years, and international reserves declined by about US$ 300 million to 6.5 months of imports. Official remittances, excluding informal flows and flows from India, remains about 20 percent of GDP. When these flows are included, remittances are estimated to be equivalent to 25-30 percent of GDP. Inflation has been in the low double digits but has recently come down to below 10 percent. Price movements in Nepal have largely mirrored India’s because of the open border between the two counties. Despite political uncertainties, Nepal maintained a policy of prudent fiscal management during FY10 and through mid-FY11. The rapid expansion of expenditures (20 percent of GDP in FY10) has been supported by a strong revenue performance (15 percent of GDP) and the availability of foreign aid (2.5 percent) and domestic borrowing (2.5 percent). But expenditure quality remains an issue.
With a GDP per capita of US$ 490 (estimated FY11), Nepal remains the poorest country in South Asia and the seventeenth poorest in the world: While the proportion of poor people has declined substantially in recent years, income disparity has increased. The Human Development Index ranks Nepal at 138 out of 169 countries in 2011. Poor reliability and access to power are the most serious infrastructure bottlenecks to growth. Increasing access to electricity in a timely and cost-effective manner is one of the most significant development challenges facing Nepal today. Efforts to reduce the 16 hour load shedding gap during the dry season have been unsuccessful. Ironically, Nepal has one of the largest untapped hydropower resources in the world – an estimated 83,000 MW of hydropower potential and is surrounded by two of the fastest growing, energy-hungry countries in the world.
Poor physical connectivity has been another major challenge to Nepal’s development efforts. Its road density is one of the lowest in South Asia. Over one-third of the people in the hills are more than four hours away from an all-weather road. In addition, 15 out of 75 district headquarters are yet to be connected by a road. The quality of the road network is also poor – 60 percent of the road network, including most rural roads, cannot provide all-weather connectivity. Maintenance is seriously neglected. In the five years to 2009, net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nepal averaged only 0.1 percent of GDP as compared to an average of 1.9 percent for low-income developing countries. Investments in Nepal are constrained by a challenging regulatory and legal framework for foreign investment, poor governance and accounting practices, weakness in the domestic banking sector together with lack of a swap market for the Nepali Rupee, poor implementation of property rights, and heightened political uncertainty. In addition, the country’s logistical limitations, absence of supporting infrastructure and the relatively smaller size of projects constrain investments, especially in the manufacturing sector. Given that productive agriculture is a crucial element of inclusive growth, enhancing the efficiency of irrigation systems will continue to be critical to increase agricultural productivity, incomes, and rural livelihoods. Increasing access to secondary school education (grades 9-12) remains a major challenge as evidenced by the disturbingly low net enrollment rate of 24 percent at this level. More than half of primary level students do not enter secondary schools, and only one-half of them complete secondary schooling. In addition, fewer girls than boys join secondary schools and, among those who do join, fewer complete the 10th grade. The nutritional status of women and children has not shown much improvement with chronic malnutrition affecting about half of the nation’s children. Three and a half million people are considered moderately to severely food insecure in Nepal. Nepal is highly susceptible to climate change risks and ranks 11th in the world in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes. Climate change is expected to intensify Nepal’s already pronounced climate variability and increase the frequency of climate extremes such as droughts and floods. Preoccupation with the prolonged political transition has overshadowed economic issues. As a result, inadequate attention has been given to issues of reforms that could improve the investment climate, stimulate growth and create more private sector jobs. The political space to introduce difficult reform measures is limited economic growth and increased private investment also remain dependent upon a political settlement that promotes greater law and order. Food and Fuel Prices Food prices in Nepal have risen rapidly, affecting the poor, especially in food-insecure areas. Food inflation remains at about 15-17 percent nationally. The country has also experienced a series of droughts and erratic monsoons in food-insecure areas which have reduced food availability and raised prices. The overall effect of rising or high food prices on the poor is therefore a function of location as well as prices. The urban poor are most affected by high prices for staples and vegetables in urban markets, while the rural poor – especially in remote, chronically food-insecure districts – are doubly impacted by high transport costs and grain prices. The impact of international fuel price increases has largely been on government finances in Nepal. The government has not passed through all the increase of oil import prices, except gasoline, to consumers, and thus the impact appears as higher loss of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and their monthly losses have increased. To the extent there have been modest adjustments in retail prices of various oil products, the poor have been affected, but modestly. This is in part because the real poor in rural areas consume few oil products (mostly kerosene for lighting). The urban poor, however, consume more LPG for cooking. Meeting the Challenges
In meeting these challenges, Nepal is not without some significant assets. The evidence is compelling that the strength behind development in Nepal is highly concentrated at the community level. Success stories abound, from forestry user groups and women’s groups, to community-based programs in rural drinking water, rural roads, micro-hydropower generation, community management of schools and the Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF). Many of the truly community-owned efforts demonstrated great viability even during the height of the conflict. Where a supportive framework has been created for communities to undertake such activities, there have been impressive development successes.
Connecting Nepal’s Rural Poor Nepal's rugged terrain prevents people from moving with ease. Nepal’s road network and quality are among the lowest in South Asia. The nearest allseason road is least a two hour walk away for 1 in every 3 Nepalis. The headquarters of 6 of Nepal’s 75 districts are yet to be connected by road. Overall, some 60 percent of the road network and most rural roads are inoperable during the rainy season. 17 districts still need to upgrade their roads to all weather conditions. Improving these inoperable roads to an all-weather standard and implementing a system of regular maintenance is essential for Nepal’s economic growth and social welfare. To help address these problems, the World Bank agreed in 2005 to help Nepal improve rural roads to provide greater access to markets, schools, and health clinics. The Rural Access Improvement and Decentralization Project (RAIDP), active in 20 districts, has so far focused on remote, rural, and hilly areas of the country. To date the project has rehabilitated and upgraded 540 kilometers of existing dry-season rural roads to all-season standard. Additionally the remote hill project districts have upgraded another 38 kilometers to dry-season standard. The project financed maintenance of about 3,500 kilometers of rural roads, constructed 102 trail bridges, and developed small community infrastructures. A survey of five completed roads found an increase of more than 20 percent in motorized and nonmotorized trips during the first year of operations. Similarly, travel time for road users was cut from an average trip time of 2.6 hours to 32 minutes. Key to the project’s success is the active role played by the local communities. For example, Village Road Coordinating Committees were established to monitor
The World Bank Group in Nepal
In Nepal, the World Bank Group includes the International Development Association (IDA), the concessionary lending arm and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm. Two more World Bank Group organizations, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the World Bank Institute (WBI), also provide investment insurance and capacity building services respectively.
Given the transitional nature of Nepal’s current situation – with a new constitution being drafted and elections to follow – the World Bank Group has prepared an Interim Strategy Note covering Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013. It proposes development programs that are consistent with the Government of Nepal’s Three Year Plan.
the quality of road works and also to identify other community infrastructure needs. As part of this project villages receive support to develop small community infrastructure, including construction of markets and community trails and roads. Communities contribute at least 20 percent either in cash or local labor and materials. In most cases, this is covered through contribution of labor and local materials. In December 2009, the World Bank committed additional funds to help Nepal expand RAIDP to 10 more districts, including those in the Tarai plains. The project will help upgrade a further 550 kilometers of existing dry-season rural roads to all-season standard. The additional financing is expected to create 150 days a year of off-farm employment for over 30,000 people. Approximately 2.4 million people are expected to benefit by the time the project ends in 2013.
Nepal has been selected as a pilot country to implement an enhanced joint strategy to leverage IDA and IFC resources and realize synergies. The strategy reflects considerable continuity, building on programs with successful track records that are adapted to local conditions. It also emphasizes greater selectivity, focusing on areas considered vital to Nepal’s development and complementing programs supported by other development partners. Supporting the Government of Nepal’s overarching goal to build a peaceful, prosperous and just Nepal, the strategy is organized around three ‘pillars’ that emerged during consultations within the Bank Group and with the Government, donor partners and key stakeholders. The first pillar intends to enhance connectivity and productivity for growth. The second focuses on reducing vulnerabilities and improving resilience. The third pillar concentrates on promoting access to better quality services. Governance, accountability, gender equality and social inclusion are themes that run across all three pillars. Within each of these pillars, the strategy identifies specific areas where the Bank Group can make a difference. For IDA, these include roads, food security and livelihood vulnerability, education, health, urban services, and disaster management. For IFC, these include improving access to finance and investment climate, trade facilitation, lending to Small and Medium Enterprises and trade finance facilities for local banks. IDA and IFC expect to work together on power development, agriculture and climate change. Over the next two years (FY12-FY13) Nepal can potentially benefit from an allocation of about US$ 400 million from IDA, subject to performance and economic management. These funds could finance four to five new operations per year. IFC can potentially commit US$ 25-30 million on average annually, depending on the availability of viable investments and improvements in the business climate.
Analytical and Advisory Services
The World Bank Group is also engaged in analytical and knowledge dissemination exercises. For example, with support from DFID and Denmark, the Bank is working closely with the Central Bureau of Statistics to complete the next Living Standards Survey (NLSS 3), to provide core data on poverty trends and access to services. Strong IFC/private sector engagement in the creation of the Nepal Business Forum is facilitating public-private sector dialogue and pragmatic problem-solving. Other areas of attention have included analysis of migration and remittances trends, medium-term public expenditure management, assessment of the investment climate, financial sector risk management, implementation of the Right to Information and food security and nutrition challenges. In addition, teams have disseminated information on international experience on specialized topics (such as fiscal decentralization and civil service transition) at the request of Constituent Assembly committees and other Government bodies. Other areas of analytic focus include water resource management, where the Bank team is working with the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat to establish a geo-referenced water resources information system, develop river basin models, build capacity within the GON for river basin modeling, and support the formation of a Trans-boundary Waters Cell; discussions are underway to support updating of Nepal’s key river basin master plan, looking at integrated management options. With respect to forests and climate change, an assessment of incentives, governance, and resource mobilization arrangements for forestry in Nepal was initiated in FY2009/10 and will be completed in the coming fiscal year. Other on-going IDA/IFC work is laying the foundation for carbon-based trading and financial support from the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience and other climate investment funds. Joint work on disaster management (in collaboration with the UN, ADB, Red Cross and others) is expected to lay the basis for future program support from the Global Fund for Disaster Risk Reduction. In partnership with the Government and other donors, the Bank continues to provide advice on ways to improve existing social protection systems and on the design of a national social protection framework. Regional and Global Programs In addition to nationally focused investment projects, the World Bank Group is actively supporting Nepal’s participation in regional and multilateral global initiatives. The Regional Wildlife Program, Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia, is assisting participating governments to build capacity, institutions and incentives to collaborate in tackling illegal wildlife trade and other conservation threats to habitats in border areas. The Nepal-India Electricity Transmission and Trade Project will enable power trade through imports into Nepal as needed, and eventually, export of surplus power to India. In the non-lending areas, IDA is channeling support to Nepal from the regional programs like the South Asia Water Initiative (SAWI) and the South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI). IFC is enhancing regional integration through investment activities, such as trade finance facilities for local banks and advisory activities, such as investment climate strengthening and trade facilitation. Nepal is also part of IFC’s SME Venture Fund global initiative which focuses on eight high-risk IDA countries. In addition, IDA and IFC plan to collaborate on two new tentative programs, IDA’s North Eastern Region Trade and Transport Facilitation Program (NER T&T) and IFCs planned South Asia Regional Trade and Integration (SARTI) program. Trade facilitation work by IFC includes assisting governments to build efficient trade logistics systems and services through targeted reforms aimed at reducing the time and cost for the private sector to import and export. IFC’s trade logistics reform work relies on a strong private sector partnership approach to identify issues and validate results.
At the global level, Nepal is the only country in the world that has been selected to participate in two Climate Investment Fund (CIF) Pilot Programs – the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) and the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). Both these CIF programs involve joint design and implementation by the
Asian Development Bank (ADB), IDA, and IFC, as well as collaboration with other donors (such as DFID, Denmark, the United States) to ensure complementarity with local programs.
Empowering the Disempowered The Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) was designed to address the root causes of Nepal’s conflict – poverty, inequality and lack of services. The program began implementation at the height of the conflict in 2004. Central to the idea of the PAF is a conviction that the poor themselves are best suited to manage their own needs and resources. Community groups organize themselves and collectively identify, prioritize, plan, fund, and implement their development needs. They are free to choose from an open menu to correspond to local priorities. Recently completed impact evaluation studies show that this program has resulted in enhancing income and consumption levels. The evaluations indicate that 66 percent of households covered under PAF have obtained a minimum income increase of 15 percent (in real terms) and have achieved an average increase in income of 82.5 percent in real terms and 182 percent in nominal terms. PAF has covered 40 poorest districts, supporting 14,831 Community Organizations and 405,000 poor households, and has benefitted more than 513,000 households. Of the total number of poor households supported currently, 57 percent are Dalit and Janajati. The estimated net program impact on per capita consumption has also been positive and in particular, growth has been higher for Dalit and Janajati and for the poorer segments of the population, implying program’s ability to distribute growth towards targeted groups. The impact on other welfare indicators is
also positive and significant: 10 percent points decrease in incidence of food insufficiency and 6 percent points increase in school enrolment rate for children aged 5-15. The program’s positive effect is also seen in access to services (agriculture centers, community forest groups, farmers’ groups) and women’s empowerment. Additional financing approved by the World Bank in April 2011 will continue supporting PAF activities in more communities. It will also help improve food security in response to the drought and price fluctuations, particularly among the most vulnerable to the spiraling cost of food.
Current Portfolio As of June 30, 2011, the World Bank’s concessional lending and grant program to Nepal consisted of 28 active projects. The IDA portfolio consisted of 19 active projects with net commitments of US$ 1.503 billion, while the Trust Fund portfolio included 11 active projects, with net commitments of about US$ 142.9 million. IFC’s committed investment portfolio in Nepal stood at US$ 28 million as of June 30, 2011, consisting of power, transport, banking, microfinance, tourism, and trade finance lines. New IDA commitments approved in FY2010/11 totaled US$ 355 million (of which IDA Grants represented US$ 131.34 million, and IDA Credits amounted to US$ 223.66 million):
Additional Finance for Road Sector Development Program (US$ 75.0 million) Additional Finance for Poverty Alleviation Fund (US$ 65 million) Nepal- India Electricity Transmission and Trade (US$ 99.0 million) Urban Government and Development Program (US$ 25.0 million) Enhanced Vocational Education and Training (US$ 50.0 million) Kabeli Transmission Project (US$ 38.0 million) Strengthening Regional Cooperation For Wildlife Protection (US$ 3.0 million) In addition, three grants amounting to US$ 123.7 million were approved in FY2010/11 to support: EFA-FTI School Sector Reform Project (US$ 120.0 million) REDD Preparation Grant (US$ 3.2 million) IDF: Strengthening Inst Capacity of DNPWC (US$ .5 million)
IDA Portfolio in Nepal as of June 30, 2011
Last updated: 2011-09-21
Nepal: Moving Towards a Better Future for All
July 7, 2011 - Nepal is passing through a difficult and prolonged transition, which at the same time, presents to its people an opportunity to build a stable and peaceful nation that is inclusive, prosperous and accountable.
The World Bank in Nepal is helping to address key elements of this peace process, including the foundations for state building, growth, and improved basic service delivery for Nepal’s poor. On June 27, 2011, the World Bank and the Government of Nepal signed agreements totaling US$116 million paving the way for four key projects which will address some of the major development challenges the World Bank is helping Nepal to overcome.
Emerging Opportunities As Nepalis move in unprecedented numbers into towns and cities, the need for rapid economic development, improved standards of services and better infrastructure is also increasing. The Urban Governance and Development Program: Emerging Towns Project will address these challenges by helping to improve the basic delivery of services and priority infrastructure in six key municipalities – Mechinagar, Dhankuta, Itahari, Lekhnath, Baglung and Tansen. The project will also support institutional development activities, promoting a strong and inclusive local government system, and, in the longer term, helping to move towards a just and equitable state. Empowering the Youth While the country has a vibrant workforce, nearly half of the workers have never attended school. Few jobs are available domestically, and Nepali workers migrate out of necessity than by choice. A third of the working male population is already believed to be abroad and they remit a staggering 25 percent of the GDP or maybe even more. But most Nepali migrant workers are poorly skilled and thus they end up with low paying jobs. The Enhanced Vocational Education and Training (EVENT) project will help improve access to Technical Education and Vocational Training programs especially for disadvantaged youth. The project will help approximately 75,000 Nepali youth get access to short-term skills training, technical education, and opportunities for certifying their existing skills. Special attention will be given to lagging regions, poor youth, women, and youth belonging to Dalit, Janajati and other marginalized communities, as well as persons with disability. A Brighter Nation Insufficient and costly electricity is a major constraint to the economic and human development of the country. In response to the dramatic worsening of electricity supply in 2008, the Government of Nepal approved an Electricity Management Plan, in which the Kabeli Transmission Project was identified as one of the priorities. The Project will construct a 132 kV transmission line in eastern Nepal that will open up the extreme east of Nepal for power sector development and shorten the distance required to transmit electricity to the country’s main industrial center around Biratnagar. The transmission line will also facilitate efforts by Nepali private hydropower developers to arrange financing for their projects, as generating projects must have a credible plan for transmitting power. This Project is a continuation of the World Bank Group’s deepening engagement in Nepal’s power sector which includes projects in cross-border electricity transmission, renewable energy and small hydropower generation. Together with the Emerging Towns Project, these new undertakings will help maximize the benefits of urbanization and revive economic activity by removing barriers to growth. Protecting our Natural Heritage Nepal’s biodiversity is extremely important for the country’s economy as well as the well-being of its people. Protecting the wildlife and their habitat has numerous benefits in protecting livelihoods as well as in the potential of promoting ecotourism. However, pressures such as deforestation, habitat loss and poaching of wild animals have put the environmental and ecological balance under severe threat. The Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia is a regional project that will address the cross-border illegal wildlife trade through regional cooperation and capacity building and support the country’s initiative for habitat protection and management for wildlife in general and tigers in particular. The project will enhance sustainable development while promoting ecotourism, which has become the fastest growing and most profitable segment of the tourist industry.
No of projects funded by world bank in nepal
Amt lent by year in Nepal
AS WORLD BANK
GDP IN 2010: 15701058166 USD POPULATION:29959364 ENERGY PRODUCED : 8733 (kt OF OIL EQUIVALENT) IN 2010