Nepal is situated in the Himalayas in South Asia, enclosed by India and Tibet. This landlocked nation is among the least developed countries in the world with an economy based heavily on imports of essential goods and on exports of forest and agricultural products. The country imports consumer goods, fuel, metals, and construction materials. It exports rice, timber, textiles, and jute. Agriculture sustains a livelihood for about 75% of Nepal’s population and accounts for about 33% of GDP.
Nepal’s growth is challenged mainly because of its landlocked location, civil conflicts, labor unrest, and the country’s vulnerability to catastrophes. The nation exploits its potential in hydropower that is estimated to generate a feasible capacity of 42,000 MW. However, due to political instability, foreign investments were held up. Its political and administrative program has made no reform in trade and related policies that would speed up growth and convince foreign investors. Additionally, developmental programs funded by foreign financial institutions were unsuccessful in addressing the needs of people in rural communities,
The Nepalese rupee has been the national currency of Nepal since 1932. It is divided into 100 paisa and was introduced to replace the Nepalese mohar. Before the Nepal Rastra Bank was established in 1955, the responsibility of issuing banknotes was by the Government of Nepal through the Central Treasury. The Nepal Rastra Bank’s first issued banknotes featured King Mahendra with the exception of the 1-rupee banknote.
Recent issues of Nepalese rupee banknotes depict Mount Everest on their obverse, replacing the portrait of King Gyanendra. A temple and the front of a coin are also shown on the obverse of the notes while their reverse side features an animal. This set of banknotes bears a watermark that reveals the national flower, rhododendron, unlike the preceding issues that reflect an image of the featured king. This is the first family of notes that has no trace of the overthrown king Gyanendra.