The union minister of road transport and highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari will visit Bhutan from 14 June 14 to sign a landmark BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) motor vehicle agreement that aims to have a common regulation for passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic amongst the four SAARC countries.
The transport ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal will sign the agreement in Thimphu on 15 June.
Earlier, the union cabinet, at a meeting presided over by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the proposed Motor Vehicle Agreement amongst four countries.
A SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement was approved during the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November 2014. However, it could not be signed due to reservations by Pakistan.
The SAARC Declaration at the Kathmandu summit also encouraged member states to initiate regional and sub-regional measures to enhance connectivity. Accordingly, a sub-regional motor vehicle agreement among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) was pursued.
A meeting of secretaries of transport of BBIN countries was organised by the ministry of road transport and highways in February to discuss and finalise the text of the draft BBIN motor vehicles agreement, which is similar to SAARC Draft, but with some minor changes.
The signing of BBIN agreement would promote safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the sub-region and would further help each country in creating an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
BBIN countries would benefit by mutual cross-border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.
Each member state of the BBIN sub-regional grouping would bear its own costs arising from implementation of this agreement which will go a long way in cementing regional cooperation and enhancing trade among member states.