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Nepal Table of Contents


Other Development Programs

The government launched the Structural Adjustment Program and the Basic Needs Program in 1985. These programs stressed selfreliance , financial discipline, and austerity as goals through the year 2000. The Structural Adjustment Program sought to confront some of the longer-term constraints to economic growth. Its measures included increasing domestic resource mobilization, reducing the growth of expenditures and domestic bank borrowings, and strengthening the commercial banking and public enterprise sectors.

The Structural Adjustment Program initiative focused on sustainable growth through balance in different sectors of the economy. Rural development in particular was targeted in order to raise the standard of living and increase agricultural production. Funds for education and health services, electricity and power, irrigation, and transportation and communications were provided. Government subsidies were supposed to be removed, new and improved standards of government efficiency were issued, and privatization of government enterprises was increased. Further, domestic resources were more fully used, and domestic bank borrowings and the growth of expenditures were decreased. The initial response to the Structural Adjustment Program was good, as gross domestic product (GDP--see Glossary), exports, and agriculture showed growth.

The objective of the Basic Needs Program was also to improve the standard of living by increasing food production, as well as to provide clothing, health services, and education. Six goals were to be achieved by the year 2000. Daily food consumption was to be raised to 2,250 calories per capita. Each person was to have the equivalent of eleven meters of clothing and a pair of shoes per year. Housing requirements were estimated at thirty square meters per urban household and at forty to sixty square meters per rural household. Essential utilities and sanitation were to be furnished by the government. Universal primary education for all children between five and ten years of age also was to be provided. The government was responsible for supplying teachers, classrooms, and educational materials, although villagers pitched in with labor and supplies to build schoolhouses (see Education , ch. 2). The population growth rate was targeted at 1.9 percent by 2000 (down from 2.6 percent in the 1980s), and life expectancy was to increase to 65 years of age by 2000 (up from almost 51 years in the late 1980s). The infant mortality rate was to be reduced to 45 deaths per 1,000 by the year 2000; World Bank (see Glossary) figures placed infant mortality at 171 per 1,000 in 1965 and at 126 per 1,000 in 1988. Universal primary health services also were to be ensured, primarily by the government, improved social services provided to handicapped people, law and order maintained, and an environment conducive to development established (see Population , ch. 2).

Data as of September 1991