Top leaders and officials have been paying tributes to the first governor of the country’s central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank, Himalaya Shumsher Rana, who passed away at the age of 95.
He was suffering from pneumonia and pulmonary complications and was receiving medical treatment at Norvic hospital, where he breathed his last on Sunday morning.
He was a great grandson of Rana Prime Minister Deb Shumsher. But Himalaya Shumsher remained committed to multi-party democracy and economic liberalisation throughout his active career.
In 1856, the India-educated Rana became NRB’s first governor. He was instrumental in introducing Nepali notes and circulating them across the country, including the Tarai region where Indian notes were popular.
It was under Rana’s leadership that Nepali rupee’s international trading rate was fixed, initially pegging it with Indian rupees. The conversion rate of 100 Indian rupees for 160 Nepali rupees remains intact to this day.
The first finance secretary of Nepal, Rana was also the founder of Gorkha Brewery, the Himalaya Bank Limited, the first private bank of Nepal. An active member of the country’s civil society movement, Rana also founded the General Election Observation Committee (GEOC), which pitched for free, fair and impartial elections.
He was decorated with multiple state honours and awards for his contributions. In 2021, he was also honoured with the highest honour of Japan called The Order of Japan for his outstanding contributions to Nepal's economic development and improving Nepal-Japan relations.