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India inks landmark motor pact with 3 SAARC nations


New Delhi: India today signed a major motor vehicles pact with three SAARC nations — Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal — that will enable seamless transit of passenger and cargo vehicles among them.

A similar pact is on the anvil among India, Myanmar and Thailand that will pave the way for greater economic cooperation in the Asian region.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today signed the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) for Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic along with transport ministers of the other three nations at Bhutan’s capital Thimpu.

Besides, in a major breakthrough, India, Myanmar and Thailand have agreed to develop a similar motor vehicle pact on the lines of the draft SAARC Motor vehicle agreement.

The BBIN MVA will not only reduce transport costs, but also foster development of multi-modal transport and transit facilities, enabling increased connectivity and promotion of  greater trade between the four countries.

Transport Minister Gadkari, addressing the conference at Thimpu, said: “This MVA, which would eventually allow motor vehicles of all categories registered in our countries to move freely in the region, is a first and small but substantial step endorsing the commitment of our national leaders to deepen regional integration for peace, stability and prosperity.”

As per the agreement, the four countries will carry out a six-month work plan from July for the implementation of the BBIN MVA in accordance with the preparation of bilateral, perhaps trilateral or quadrilateral agreements and protocols, installation of the prerequisites for implementing the approved agreements, among others.

Gadkari said that India will work on signing a similar motor agreement with Myanmar and Thailand.

“I am happy to share with you all a significant initiative to strengthen connectivity of our sub-region to ASEAN. In this regard, a major breakthrough has been achieved between India, Myanmar and Thailand.

“Three nations have agreed to develop a similar framework MVA on the lines of draft SAARC Motor vehicle agreement,” he said.

Secretary level discussions were successfully concluded in Bengaluru this month and consensus has been reached on the text of the agreement, he added.

“On conclusion of this agreement, our sub-region will get access to the larger ASEAN market through seamless passenger and cargo movement,” the Minister said.

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