Sunday, October 31, 2010

Open Budget Index 2010

International Budget Partnership (IBP) has prepared the Open Budget Index (OBI), which awards score to governments around the world on the breadth of their consultation process and the depth of accountability to the citizens. Nepal’s OBI score for 2010 was 45. That of Sri Lanka’s, at 67. The scores of India (67), Bangladesh (48), and Pakistan (38).
Countries with a score of 81-100 are those providing extensive information in their budget documents; a score of 61-80 indicates significant information, 41-60 means ‘some information,’ 21-40 stands for ‘minimal information,’ and at the bottom of the heap, zero to 20 indicates scant or no information.
While France, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US rank high in the score.

For full report on Nepal, Click here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Prosperity Index- 2010

Legatum Institute's 2010 Prosperity Index, published on 26th October 2010, has presented a broad view of wealth, happiness and prospects for the future of 110 countries, captured in eight sub-indexes from personal freedom to the economy. Legatum Institute is a London-based international think tank.
The survey has covered 90 percent of the world's population, taking into account factors that contribute to the overall prosperity -- such as education standards, health, personal freedom, safety, security and democracy.
In its fourth year, the Index Nepal has listed 91st. Bangladesh is in 96th & India in 88th. Sri Lanka has been ranked 59th.
The index has crowned Norway in the first place, followed by Denmark in the second, and Finland third. Free Markets the key to Nordic nations’ strong performances. Zimbabwe on last of all.

Index Comparisons (Rank/Number of countries)
Legatum Prosperity Index: 91st/110
Average Life Satisfaction Ranking: 83rd/110
Per Capita GDP Ranking : 103rd/110
WEF Global Competitiveness Index : 130th /139
UN Human Development Index : 144th/182
Heritage/WSJ Economic Freedom Index : 130th/179
TI Corruption Perceptions Index : 143rd/180
Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index : 82nd/149

Prosperity Index's detail on Nepal
Economy : Ranked 100th
Nepals economy is inherently weak and requires stronger fundamentals to attain steady growth
epals 2008 inflation rate of 11% did little to encourage an increase in gross domestic savings, which stood at 11% of its GDP, ranking in bottom quartile of the Index. Nepal also has the eighth highest rate of unemployment in the Index, recorded at 46%. According to a 2009 survey, only 41%* of the population reported being employed. A slightly above global** average proportion of Nepalese are able to afford adequate food and shelter*, but only half* are satisfied with their personal standard of living. GDP per capita grew at an average annual rate of 2.1% between 2004 and 2008 and the majority of the Nepalese population expect the economy to contract in the near future. Despite this, a surprising four in 10 are optimistic about their local job market. Nepals economic fundamentals seem weak and do not support future growth. In terms of market size and access to productive physical capital, Nepal ranks in the bottom 20 of the Index. Nepal places in the lowest 10 of the Index for its negligible rates of high-tech exports and foreign direct investment. Nepalese citizens have a very high level of confidence in their country’s financial institutions, placing Nepal 10th* on this variable, but there are no data available on the proportion of non-performing loans.

Entrepreneurship & Oppurtunity : Ranked 96th
Nepalese entrepreneurs are optimistic in the face of high start-up costs and poor infrastructure.
Innovative activity is extremely limited in Nepal. ICT exports constitute a low 0.1% of total goods exports, and domestic investment in R&D equates to only 0.6% of Nepals GDP. Nepal ranks third lowest on the Index with respect to mobile phone penetration, while internet connectivity and security is very weak, both of which point to a weak infrastructure for entrepreneurship. Starting a new business is difficult, as a result of extremely high start-up costs of 54% of GNI per capita. Yet, Nepalese citizens are exceptionally positive: more than eight in 10* people surveyed in 2009 believe their city is a good place to start a new business, placing the country 17th on this variable. Economic development is extremely unequal across socio-economic groups, yet 95%* of people believe that hard work is enough to guarantee success. This positive subjective assessment of the entrepreneurial environment places Nepal 11th on the Index for this variable. There are no data available on income earned from royalty receipts.

Governance : Ranked 94th
The government of Nepal places heavy restrictions on political rights and is perceived as corrupt by its citizens.
Nepals current government can be classified as a newly established democracy with an inefficient bureaucratic system that struggles to implement national policy effectively. Checks and balances, although present, are weak, as is the level of competition in the executive and legislative branches. According to a 2009 survey, approximately 45% of the population approves of the national government, and the country’s efforts to address poverty, placing Nepal 65th* and 40th*, respectively, for these variables. A higher 57%* approve of the country’s efforts to preserve the environment, placing the country above the global mean. However, corruption is perceived to be endemic in the political and business sectors, placing Nepal in the bottom 20* of the Index. This could be a consequence of ineffective regulation of commercial competition and lack of respect for the rule of law. Only two-thirds* of the population have confidence in the military, a rate below the global average, but an above average 64%* trust the judiciary. Restricted political rights result in limited political participation: only one in nine* Nepalese voiced their opinion to a public official, the 99th lowest rate, globally. This is further borne out by low confidence in the electoral process which places Nepal 84th on the Index.

Education : Ranked 92nd
Nepalese schools do not provide a high quality education, resulting in a poorly educated workforce.
Nepal has an extremely poor educational system. Only 78% of children attend primary school, and gross secondary and tertiary enrolment rates are far below the global mean, at 48% and 9%, respectively. In Nepal, there is near gender equality in primary and secondary education, but there is only one primary school teacher for every 38 pupils, suggesting that a very poor level of education is offered in Nepal. As a result, only 54%* of people surveyed in 2009 believe that children are given sufficient opportunities to learn. However, despite this lack of opportunities, an above global average 77%* of people are content with their local educational facility, indicating low public expectations. The Nepalese workforce is poorly educated, placing the country in the bottom 30 of the Index for the average secondary and tertiary education of its workers.

Health : Ranked 97th
Low health expenditure results in an inefficient healthcare system and low levels of public health.
Nepals healthcare system is lacking on many fronts. One in every 20 children die within the first year of their birth and more than a fifth of the population is malnourished. Additionally, life expectancy, when adjusted for healthy years lived, is only 52 years. Nepal places in the bottom 25 countries of the Index on all four of these variables. Only 82% of children are immunised against infectious diseases or measles, placing Nepal in the bottom third of the Index on both variables. Health expenditure is very low, at just $90 (PPP) per capita. This low level of spending results in an inadequate healthcare infrastructure: there are very few hospital beds available and just 27% of the population have access to sanitation facilities. In addition, a below global average 72%* of people are content with the quality of their water. Many Nepalese die as a result of respiratory diseases or tuberculosis, ranking Nepal in the bottom quartile of the Index. Subjective assessments of public health are somewhat mixed. An above global average 84%* of people surveyed in 2009 were satisfied with their level of personal health and only 27%* had felt worried the previous day. However, an extremely low 58%* of people felt well-rested and almost a third* reported severe health problems, placing Nepal in the bottom 10 of the Index for these two variables. The fact that only six in 10* people take pleasure in their immediate environment places Nepal a low 92nd on the Index for this variable.

Safety & Security : Ranked 87th
Nepals national security is threatened by high levels of political violence and internal displacement.
Nepal suffers from endemic social and political instability. Tensions arising from the presence of group grievances based on historic injustices, as well as demographic instability resulting from border disputes, ownership or occupancy of land, access to transportation outlets, control of religious or historical sites, or proximity to environmental hazards, cause the most important threats to Nepal’s national security. Although there were no reports of ethnic or civil strife in 2008, the government of Nepal often sponsors acts of violence against political dissidents. All of these factors contribute to a high rate of human flight, as many Nepalese professionals choose to emigrate to safer countries. One in 20 Nepalese are mugged or physically assaulted every year, a rate above the global average. However, rates of property theft are extremely low, with just 6% of people being victims of theft every year. These figures place Nepal 51st* and sixth*, respectively. Yet more than four in 10* people say that they do not feel safe walking alone at night, a rate far below the global mean. In contrast, only some* would be afraid to express a political view, indicating a very high level of freedom of expression.

Personal Freedom : Ranked 44th
Although Nepalese citizens enjoy only limited individual freedom, they remain open to outsiders.
The government of Nepal restricts civil liberties, limiting citizens’ ability to speak freely, associate with others, express their beliefs or exercise personal autonomy. The country places a low 73rd on this variable. Unsurprisingly, a low 62%* of people express satisfaction with this level of individual freedom, placing Nepal in the bottom third of the Index for this variable. Yet most Nepalese perceive their country as tolerant and welcoming. According to a 2009 survey, 79%* and 87%* of the population believe that immigrants and racial and ethnic minorities can live peacefully in their city, respectively. These high proportions place Nepal in the top 20 countries of the Index.

Social Capital : Ranked 84th
Nepalese citizens are unlikely to trust others or help strangers, outside the family unit.
Nepalese society lacks cohesion. In a 2009 survey, a low 14%* of respondents felt they could trust others and just four in five* indicated being able to rely on family and friends in times of need. On both occasions, Nepals performance is below average and indicative of weak social cohesion. Social engagement is also sub par: a below global average 22%* and 36%* of people donate and help strangers, respectively, while a slightly above global average 20% volunteer their time. Nepalese citizens have good potential access to familial networks, as almost two-thirds* of the population are married. Potential access to religious networks is weaker, with fewer than four in 10* people regularly attending a place of worship.

* Data taken from the Gallup World Poll
** The terms 'international', 'global', or 'world' are used to reference the 110 Prosperity Index countries, which represent approximately 93% of the world’s population and 97% of global GDP.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amnesty International Report 2010 (Nepal)

Nepali human rights defenders reported hundreds of killings and abductions by state forces and armed groups. Public insecurity escalated as a growing number of armed groups took violent action against civilians. The police used unnecessary and excessive force to dispel political and rights-based demonstrations. Torture of detainees was widely reported.


Commitments made in Nepal's 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord to uphold civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights remained unfulfilled. Political division and proliferation of armed groups threatened the peace process. The ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) government, headed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, fell in May and was replaced by a coalition government led by Madhav Kumar Nepal. Maoist party supporters staged protests and general strikes, including a blockade of parliament. Efforts to draft a new constitution made little progress. Despite the state's declared support for the UN Draft Principles on eliminating discrimination based on work or descent (which addresses caste inequalities), discrimination against Dalits and women persisted with impunity.

Transitional justice

Efforts to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) stalled. Nepali critics of a draft TRC bill, pending since 2007, noted shortcomings, among them the proposed commission's lack of independence from political influence, inadequate witness protection, and a proposal to grant it the power to recommend amnesty for perpetrators of serious human rights violations.

Enforced disappearances

Both sides of the conflict that ended in 2006 subjected people to enforced disappearances. According to the ICRC, more than 1,300 people remained unaccounted for by year's end. A draft bill criminalizing enforced disappearance lapsed in June, and a Commission of Inquiry into disappearances was not set up. The proposed bill failed both to employ a definition of enforced disappearance consistent with international law, and to recognize enforced disappearance as a possible crime against humanity. On 30 August, Amnesty International issued a joint memorandum with eight prominent Nepali and international organizations calling for improvements to bring the draft in line with international standards.


Impunity continued for perpetrators of human rights abuses during the conflict no cases were tried before a civilian court. Survivors of violations reported that police refused to file complaints or investigate cases. The authorities failed to implement court-ordered arrests of military personnel accused of human rights violations.

  • In December, the government promoted a high ranking army officer implicated in human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances, during the conflict. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed particular concern about this, and opposed his promotion pending investigation.

Police abuse

Police continued to employ unnecessary and excessive force to quell demonstrations, including beating protesters with lathis (long wooden sticks) and gun butts. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, and killings of people suspected of being affiliated with armed groups in faked "encounters", were reported.

Abuses by armed groups

Over 100 armed groups operated in Nepal's Terai region and committed human rights abuses, including abductions of members of the Pahadi (hill) community and bomb attacks on public places.

  • On 9 April, police shot and killed Parasuram Kori, after members of the leftist Terai-based armed group Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-J) fired at a police patrol team. The victim's mother said that her son and two others had been abducted by the JTMM-J three days earlier.

The Young Communist League, the youth wing of the CPN-M, were also responsible for killings, assaults and abductions.

Child soldiers

Over 2,500 former child soldiers remained in cantonments (military areas where, under the Comprehensive Peace Accord, the CPN-M had agreed to be quartered). In July, the government announced plans to discharge them and more than 1,000 "illegal recruits" inducted after 2006, a process that was to finish by November. But the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a discharge and rehabilitation plan, which remained stalled as of mid-October. Releases had not commenced by the end of the year, but were announced for early January 2010.

Torture and other ill-treatment

National laws providing safeguards against torture fell short of international standards, and remained inadequately implemented.

  • In July, police tortured Bhakta Rai and Sushan Limbu after the latter was arrested on a minor charge in Urlabari, south-eastern Nepal. Police beat them in a jail cell, then stripped them to their underwear in the street, assaulted them with iron rods and forced them to crawl on their knees and elbows over stony ground. Both sustained serious injuries. Following a successful court petition, the men were granted access to lawyers and provided with medical care, but officers involved in their torture were not suspended, and no investigation was launched.

Violence against women and girls

Women human rights defenders were threatened, assaulted and killed. Dowry deaths and sexual violence continued. Legislative weakness and inadequate policing obstructed prosecution of domestic and sexual violence cases. Police refused to record cases of violence against women, or to provide information to women human rights defenders on the status of investigations.

  • Uma Singh, a journalist for Radio Today FM and member of the Women's Human Rights Defender Network, was attacked on 11 January by a group of armed men. She was severely mutilated and died on her way to hospital in Kathmandu.

In August, Amnesty International launched an action demanding that the Prime Minister ensure accountability in the case of Maina Sunuwar, a 15-year-old girl who was tortured to death by members of the Nepal Army in February 2004. In December, one of the accused, Major Niranjan Basnet, was expelled from a UN peacekeeping mission and repatriated to Nepal. Amnesty International called on the Nepal army to hand him over to civilian authorities.

Legal and institutional developments

The government stalled ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court despite a commitment from Nepal's then Minister of Foreign Affairs. In July, Amnesty International submitted more than 13,000 appeal letters to the new Minister of Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala, calling for the government to proceed with ratification. The Minister agreed to begin the process, but by year's end no progress had been made.

(As of 28th May 2010)

Economic Freedom Report of Nepal - 2010

Nepal’s economic freedom score is 52.7, making its economy the 130th freest in the 2010 Index. Its score is 0.5 point lower than last year, reflecting declines in five of the 10 economic freedoms. Nepal is ranked 28th out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its score is below the world and regional averages.
Nepal’s economy is characterized by a combination of rapid population growth and inadequate economic growth that has led to widespread, chronic poverty. Overall, weak reform efforts have failed to stimulate broad-based economic growth. The state continues to hamper private-sector development, and political instability weakens the country’s ability to implement economic reform or create a stable environment for development.
Although reforms in Nepal’s trade regime are slowly having an effect, the average tariff rate remains high. Foreign investments must be approved or face licensing requirements. A lack of transparency, corruption, and a burdensome approval process impede much-needed private investment growth. Property rights are undermined by the inefficient judicial system, which is subject to substantial corruption and political influence.
Background: The fall of the nine-month-old Maoist government in May 2009 has led to political uncertainty in Nepal. Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal resigned from the premiership following a dispute with Nepal’s president over leadership of the army and the fate of some 20,000 Maoist fighters. A 22-party coalition led by Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) leader Madhav Kumar Nepal took power following the fall of the Maoist government but faces continual protests and weakening law and order. The Maoists, who fought a 10-year insurgency that left over 13,000 dead, signed a peace accord in 2006 that allowed for elections that they won in 2008. Economic development has largely stalled. Nepal attracts very little foreign direct investment, and its main industries are agriculture and services.
The overall freedom to start, operate, and close a business is limited under Nepal’s regulatory environment. Starting a business takes an average of 31 days, compared to the world average of 35 days. Obtaining a business license takes almost twice the world average of 218 days. Bankruptcy proceedings are lengthy and complex.
Nepal’s weighted average tariff rate was 13.1 percent in 2007. The government continues to implement reforms, but import bans, services market access barriers, import taxes, import and export licensing, non-transparent regulations, weak enforcement of intellectual property rights, inadequate infrastructure and trade capacity, and customs corruption add to the cost of trade. Fifteen points were deducted from Nepal’s trade freedom score to account for non-tariff barriers.
Nepal has moderate tax rates. Both the top income tax rate and the top corporate tax rate are 25 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax (VAT) and a property tax. In the most recent year, overall tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 9.6 percent.
Total government expenditures, including consumption and transfer payments, are low. In the most recent year, government spending equaled 16.0 percent of GDP. The state oil company is a drain on the economy.
Inflation has been moderately high, averaging 7.4 percent between 2006 and 2008. Although most price controls have been eliminated, the government regulates the prices of petroleum products and telecommunications services and subsidizes companies in strategic sectors. Five points were deducted from Nepal’s monetary freedom score to account for policies that distort domestic prices.
Nepal is generally open to investment in many sectors, but investments must be approved, and many face licensing requirements. Bureaucracy and regulatory administration
are burdensome, non-transparent, inconsistently implemented, and inefficient. Political instability, pervasive corruption, and inadequate infrastructure and administrative capacity also inhibit investment. Residents may hold foreign exchange accounts in specific instances; most non-residents also may hold such accounts. Convertibility is difficult and not guaranteed. Most payments and transfers are subject to prior approval by the government. There are restrictions on most capital transactions, and all real estate 100 transactions are subject to controls. Foreign investors may most free acquire real estate only for business use.
Nepal’s fragmented financial system is heavily influenced by the government. Financial supervision is insufficient, and anti-fraud efforts are lacking. Regulations are not transparent and fall short of international standards. The banking sector dominates the financial sector, and there are approximately 20 commercial banks operating in the country. The number of other financial intermediaries has increased in recent years, but the high cost of credit and limited access to financing still deter entrepreneurial activity. Nepal’s government-owned banks represent more than 30 percent of total banking assets and account for more than half of total bank branches. The central bank has gradually phased out “priority sector” financing activities whereby banks must lend a certain amount to government-designated projects.
Nepal’s judicial system suffers from corruption and inefficiency. Lower-level courts are vulnerable to political pressure, and bribery of judges and court staff is endemic. Weak protection of intellectual property rights has led to substantial levels of optical media copyright piracy.
Corruption is perceived as widespread. Nepal ranks 121st out of 179 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2008. Foreign investors have identified corruption as an obstacle to maintaining and expanding direct investment, and there are frequent allegations of official corruption in the distribution of permits and approvals, the procurement of goods and services, and the awarding of contracts. The governmental Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority, mandated to investigate official acts of corruption, claimed a 75 per-cent success rate concerning corruption cases it filed, but some cases involving politicians were not filed or were defeated in court.
Nepal’s labor regulations are restrictive. The non-salary cost of employing a worker is low, but laying off an employee is difficult.

Average Per Capita Income of the freest countries is $ 24,402 whereas average per capita income of least free countries is $ 2,998. Life expectancy of most free countries is 77.8 years whereas that of least free countries is 55 years.
Note the fact that some countries among the freest one are devoid of any natural resources, like Hong Kong and Singapore whereas most of the countries among the least free ones are considered to be very rich in natural resources, like Nepal, Congo, Venezuela.
Economic Freedom Index is calculated by two institutes separately. Fraser Institute of Canada and Heritage Foundation of USA. Following is the section about Nepal in Heritage Foundation's Economic Freedom Report 2010.
Most Free
New Zealand
United States of America
United Kingdom
Least Free
North Korea
Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo

(As of February, 2010)

Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 (TI)

Nepal is the most corrupt country in Asia, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 published by the Transparency International on 26th October 2010.
With 2.3 scores, Nepal has fell three positions down this year and stood 146th among 180 countries. Last year, Nepal was on the 143rd rank.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world. The CPI is a "survey of surveys", based on various expert and business surveys.
Transparency International said that the decline in Nepal’s scores owes to the weak anti-corruption mechanism, volatile political situation and instable government.
Transparency International's CPI is the world's most credible measure of domestic, public sector corruption.
Afghanistan and Myanmar share second to last place with a score of 1.4, with Somalia coming in last with a score of 1.1.
The world's most peaceful countries score the best. In the 2010 CPI, Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore tie for first place with scores of 9.3.
The ranking is based on data from country experts and business leaders at 10 independent institutions, including the World Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit and World Economic Forum.
Transparency International says that it has seen improvements in scores from 2009 to 2010 for Bhutan, Chile, Ecuador, FYR Macedonia, Gambia, Haiti, Jamaica, Kuwait, and Qatar.
The scores of the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Madagascar, Niger and the United States have all gone down.
The CPI scores countries on a scale of zero to 10, with zero indicating high levels of corruption and 10, low levels. And the most corrupt places in the world are not the most surprising. Unstable governments, often with a legacy of conflict, continue to dominate the bottom rungs of the CPI.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Global Hunger Index- 2010

Global Hunger Index 2010, conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ranked Nepal 56th among 84 nations.
The Global Hunger Index is based on the proportion of undernourished in population, the prevalence of underweight in children and the mortality rate of children.
India has been ranked 67th, well below China (9th), Sri Lanka (39th) and Pakistan (52nd).
Ghana at 10th with scoring 10 points. African countries that preceded Ghana on the table are Morocco with a score of 5.8, Gabon, 6.4; the island state of Mauritius, 6.7 and South Africa, 7.3.
Other African countries which though can be found in the first 40 on the table, had scores of more than 10, are: Swaziland at number 27 with a score of 10.8, Lesotho – number 31 with a score of 12.2, Botswana at 32 with a score of 12.5, Mauritania at 35 with a score of 13.1, Namibia at 37 with a score of 13.6, Cote d’Ivoire at 38 with a score of 14.0 and Uganda at number 40 with a score of 15.0.
The other African countries that were ranked below 40 as a result of their poor scores are Congo Republic at 41 with a score of 15.2, Senegal at 43 with a GHI score of 16.8, Benin, Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Malawi, The Gambia from 44 to 49 with scores of 17.1, 17.1, 17.6, 17.8, 18.2 and 18.5 respectively.
They were followed by Mali at spot 52 with a score of 19.1, Kenya at 55 with a score of 19.8, Tanzania at 57 with a score of 20.7, Sudan – 58 with a score of 20.9, Zimbabwe also at 58 with the same score of 20.9, Burkina Faso, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Djibouti and Mozambique taking the 61st to 66th spots with scores of 21.1, 22.4. 22.6, 23.1, 23.5 and 23.7 respectively.
The rest are Liberia at number 69 with a score of 24.3, Zambia at 20 with a score of 24.9, Niger – 72 with a score of 25.9, Angola 73 with a score of 27.2, Central African Republic at number 75 with a score of 27.4, Madagascar at 76 with a score of 27.5 and the Comoros Islands at number 77 with a score of 27.9.
At the bottom of the table are Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo from 79 to 84 with scores of 28.9, 29.8, 30.9, 35.7, 38.3 and 41.0 respectively.
Ranked one to ten on the GHI table are the Syrian Arab Republic (1), Trinidad and Tobago (2), Surinam (3), Colombia (4), Georgia (5), Morocco (5), El Savador (7), Paraguay (7), China (9) and Venezuela, RB (10), with scores of 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 5.8, 5.9, 5.9, 6.0 and 6.1 respectively.
Meanwhile, 38 countries not included in the ranking because they had scores of less than five and can thus be said to be self sufficient in food, are Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan and Kuwait.
Ending the list are; Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Uruguay.

Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2010

Bangladesh and India are the countries most vulnerable to climate change, according to an index released on 20th October 2010 that rates the Nordic region least at risk.
British consultancy Maplecroft said its rankings showed that several "big economies of the future" in Asia were among those facing the biggest risks from global warming in the next 30 years as were large parts of Africa.
It said poverty and large low-lying coastal regions prone to floods and cyclones were among factors making Bangladesh the most exposed country. India, in second place, was vulnerable because of pressures from a rising population of 1.1 billion.
Madagascar was in third place, followed by Nepal, Mozambique, the Philippines, Haiti, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Myanmar. Vietnam, in 13th place and flood-hit Pakistan in 16th were also in the most exposed group.
Norway was bottom of the list of 171 nations, least vulnerable ahead of Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark -- all rich north European nations which may initially gain from factors such as longer crop growing seasons.
The ranking combined exposure to extremes such as droughts, cyclones and mudslides, sensitivity to damage tied to poverty, population, internal conflicts and dependence on agriculture, and the capacity of a country to adapt.
The U.N. panel of climate scientists says it is at least 90 percent likely that a build-up of greenhouse gases, mainly from human use of fossil fuels, is responsible for most warming in the past 50 years.
Among major economies, the United States ranked at 129, China 49, Brazil 81 and Japan 87. Most European Union nations were low on the list, among less vulnerable countries.
The "medium risk" category included
Russia (117th), the United States (129th), Germany (131st), France (133rd) and Britain (138th).

Norway led the group of 11 nations considered at least risk, which is dominated by fellow Scandinavians as well as the Netherlands, which has worked hard to defend its low-lying land from rising seas.
Maplecroft published a climate vulnerability index in 2009 that placed 28 nations at "extreme risk", headed by Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Burundi.
Some states were left off the list because of a lack of data, including North Korea, and small island states like the Maldives that are vulnerable to rising sea levels.

World Press Freedom Index- 2010

As of 2010 World Press Freedom Index released worldwide on 20th October 2010, the France-based media rights body has placed Nepal on the 119th position in terms of press freedom.
It had placed Nepal on the 118th position in 2009. The Index, however, has not given any specific reason behind the deteriorating state of press freedom in Nepal.
The Index reveals that press freedom India and Thailand have also been challenged. Thailand (153rd) - where two journalists were killed and some 15 wounded while covering the army crackdown on the 'red shirts' movement in Bangkok - lost 23 places, while India slipped to 122nd place from 105th position last year mainly due to extreme violence in Kashmir.
Likewise, Afganistan and Pakistan have been ranked 147th and 151st, respectively. According to the Index, Islamist groups bear much of the responsibility for their country's pitifully low ranking. “Suicide bombings and abductions make working as a journalist an increasingly dangerous occupation in this area of South Asia,” states the report, adding: “And the state has not slackened its arrests of investigative journalists, which sometimes more closely resemble kidnappings.”
Though Sri Lanka jumped four places up as compared to last year due to less violence reported there, the media´s ability to challenge the authorities has weakened with dozens of journalists being exiled, according to the Press Freedom Index.
The Index has also painted a grim picture of press freedom in communist regimes of Asia. Asia´s four communist regimes, North Korea (177th), China (171st) and Vietnam (165th), and Laos (168th) are among the fifteen lowest-ranked countries in the 2010 World Press Freedom Index.
Laos, Rwanda, Yemen, China, Sudan, Syria, Burma, Iran, Turkeministan, North Korea and Eritrea have been ranked among 10 countries at the bottom of the index.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Palpa : highest performer among all districts

Palpa is the highest performer among all districts, according to the Ministry of Local Development (MoLD).

Palpa has stood first, securing 90 out of 100 marks, in the performance evaluation of different local bodies, municipalities and District Development Committees conducted by the Financial Commission under MoLD.

The achievement means Palpa will get additional 30 percent budget from MoLD in the current fiscal year.

Palpa was declared first for its activities on good governance, communication and welfare of Dalit and indigenous nationalities.

Out of 65 Palpali VDCs, 60 have passed the minimum criteria. Among 16 districts of the Western Development Region, 11 failed to make their names.

(Palpa, 1 Oct 2010)

पाल्पा जिल्ला देशभरिमा प्रथम

न्यूनतम मापदण्ड सर्त र कार्यसम्पादन मूल्यांकनमा नेपाल राज्यभरमा पाल्पा जिल्ला पहिलो जिल्ला भएको छ ।
स्थानीय निकायहरू गाविस, नगर र जिविसका कार्यसम्पादन मूल्यांकन गर्ने स्थानीय विकास मन्त्रालय मातहतको स्वतन्त्र निकाय स्थानीय वित्तीय आयोगले सार्वजनिक गरेको नतिजामा पाल्पा जिल्ला पहिलो भएको जनाइएको छ ।
मापनको १०० पूर्णाङ्क भएकोमा पाल्पाले ९० पूर्णाङ्क ल्याएर पहिलो भएको हो ।
देशभरमा पहिलो भएपछि पाल्पा जिल्लाले स्थानीय विकास मन्त्रालयबाट चालु आर्थिक वर्षमा ३० प्रतिशत बजेट थप पाउने भएको छ ।
स्थानीय सुशासन, सञ्चार, दलित, जनजाति आदिवासीलगायतका लक्षित वर्गमा सञ्चालन भएको कार्यक्रममा उत्कृष्ट भएवापत पाल्पा जिल्ला प्रथम भएको हो ।
जिल्लाका ६५ गाविसमध्ये ६० गाविस न्यूनतम सर्त मापनमा पास भएको छ ।
पास भएका गाविसले समेत श्रेणीअनुसार रकम थप पाउने भएका छन् ।
पश्चिमाञ्चल विकास क्षेत्रका १६ जिल्लामध्ये पाल्पा प्रथम भएको छ भने कपिलवस्तुसहित ११ जिल्ला फेल भएका छन् ।
वित्तीय विकेन्द्रीकरणको अगुवाका रूपमा मानिने आयोगले स्वतन्त्र मूल्यांकनकर्ताको अध्ययनका आधारमा २०६४ सालयता स्थानीय निकायले वार्षिक रूपमा कामको मूल्यांकन गर्दै आएको छ ।
जिल्लाले आर्थिक वर्षमा गरेको नतिजाको आधारमा स्थानीय निकायको अनुदान पक्का हुने गरेको छ ।
चालीसवटा कार्य सम्पादन र १३ वटा न्यूनतम सर्तको सूचकका आधारमा मूल्यांकनकर्ताले स्थानीय निकायको वित्तीय अनुगमन गर्ने गर्दछ ।

(पाल्पा, १५ असोज २०६७)