Nepalese Rupee (NPR): Definition, History, Currency Symbol

What Is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR)?

The Nepalese rupee (NPR) is the national currency of Nepal. It is administered by the central bank of Nepal, the Nepal Rastra Bank. The most common symbol used when referencing the NPR is Rs, although Rp is also sometimes used.

Key Takeaways

  • The Nepalese rupee (NPR) is the national currency of Nepal, which was introduced in 1932, replacing the Nepalese mohar.
  • The NPR exchange rate is pegged to the Indian rupee (INR) at a rate of 1.6 NPR to INR.
  • Nepal has experienced increased economic growth in recent years, along with declining rates of inflation and a growing gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The currency is available in coins and bills of various denominations. Coins come in rupees and paisas.
  • Transacting in the NPR can be difficult for foreigners because there are three primary exchange rates operating in Nepal: an official central bank rate, a legal private bank rate, and an illegal black market rate.

Understanding the Nepalese Rupee (NPR)

The NPR was introduced in 1932, replacing the previous currency, the Nepalese mohar. Its exchange rate is based on a peg set against the Indian rupee (INR). In 1993, Nepal introduced new convertibility to its currency. The change pegged the NPR to the INR at a rate of NPR 160 to INR 100.

The NPR is divided into units known as "paisa" and is circulated in both coin and banknote forms. One rupee is made up of 100 paisa. Today, the NPR's coins are denominated in units of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 paisa. Coins are also denominated in rupees: 1, 2, 5, and 10. The banknotes are denominated in units of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 rupees.

Exchanging NPR

Transacting in the NPR can be difficult for foreigners because there are three primary exchange rates operating in Nepal: an official central bank rate, a legal private bank rate, and an illegal black market rate. Of these, the most favorable exchange rates are generally found in the black market. For this reason, much local commerce takes place at the black-market exchange rates.

Most tourists, however, will use the private banks and will therefore obtain a less favorable rate. The same is true for formal exchange-rate businesses and the foreign-exchange services offered at the Kathmandu airport. These authorized agents will transact at private banking rates.

Because of the legal ambiguities involved, travelers are advised to obtain and keep receipts for all their currency exchange transactions, in order to be able to prove that only legal agents were used.

Nepal's Economy

Nepal's economy has grown at an average rate of roughly 4% between 1965 and 2019. More recently, gross domestic product (GDP) growth has risen above the 5% threshold, with the past three years showing growth of over 6.66%, -2.37%, and 4.25%, respectively. Between 2008 and 2016, inflation hovered around 9% but dropped to roughly 3.6% in 2017. Since then it has edged back up and was slightly higher than 4% in 2021.

Relative to the USD, the NPR has depreciated over the past 10 years. In September 2009, 1 USD was equivalent to just over 77 NPR; however, by October 2022, the value of 1 USD had risen to approximately 130 NPR.

How Much Is $1 U.S. in Nepal?

In Nepal, $1 U.S. is worth 130.6 Nepalese rupees as of Oct. 2, 2022. It is approximately 127 rupees to one euro.

Is the Nepal Rupee the Same as the Indian Rupee?

No, the Nepal rupee is not the same as the Indian rupee. They are two different currencies belonging to two different nations. The Nepal rupee, however, is pegged to the Indian rupee. "Rupee" is the name of the currency for many countries, much as the dollar is. For example, the U.S. dollar, Canadian Dollar, and Australian dollar.

Which Is the Lowest Currency in the World?

The currency with the lowest value in the world is the Iranian real. The reason its currency is so low is because of its poor economy, which has been battered by global sanctions due to the country's involvement in terrorism and its general political instability.

Article Sources
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  1. OANDA. "Nepalese Rupee."

  2. Nepal Rastra Bank. "Impact of Exchange Rate on Trade Deficit and Foreign Exchange Reserve in Nepal: An Empirical Analysis," Page 37.

  3. Macro Trends. "Nepal GDP Growth Rate 1961-2022."

  4. The World Bank. "Inflation, Consumer Prices (Annual %) - Nepal."

  5. Nepal Rastra Bank. "Foreign Exchange Rates."

  6. Truly Financial. "Exploring the Top 10 Weakest Currencies in the World as of Jan. 31, 2022."

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