Handbook on the South Asian Economies
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Handbook on the South Asian Economies

Edited by Anis Chowdhury and Wahiduddin Mahmud

This Handbook on the South Asian Economies (a companion to the Handbook on the Northeast and Southeast Asian Economies) is a comprehensive and unique collection of original studies on the economic and social development of countries in South Asia. The analytical narratives draw upon a wide range of extant literature in an easily accessible way, whilst highlighting the impact of socio-political factors on economic outcomes. The introductory chapter by the editors provides a comprehensive survey of the main features of South Asian economic development, especially in respect of the policy reforms since the late 1970s.
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Chapter 5: Nepal

S.R. Osmani and B.B. Bajracharya


S.R. Osmani and B.B. Bajracharya A short political history of Nepal The Kingdom of Nepal was formed in the 18th century when King Prithvi Narayan Shah brought together of a number of fiefdoms and small states at the foot of the Himalayas under his rule. The Shah dynasty was, however, soon embroiled in a protracted power struggle that culminated in the emergence of Jung Bahadur Rana in 1846, who introduced the system of hereditary prime minister, giving rise to the powerful Rana oligarchy. During the Rana regime, some isolated efforts were made to bring about progressive political and social changes, but these were thwarted by conservative elements among the oligarchy who perceived such changes as threats to their hold on power. Eventually, however, the Rana regime sank under the weight of its own unpopularity and was overthrown by the joint efforts of the Shah kings and the people in 1951, heralding the emergence of modern Nepal. The restoration of the Shah kings to power brought about fundamental changes in the polity and economy of Nepal. On the political front, the people of Nepal tasted multiparty democracy for the first time in their history, and in the economic sphere, they witnessed the first attempts to achieve planned socioeconomic development. The first ever annual budget of the country was announced in 1953, and the first development plan was launched in 1957. Unfortunately, the experiment in multi-party democracy soon degenerated into inter-party as well as intra-party squabbles for power that led...

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