SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement for seamless cross border transit

Officials from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal met on 2-3 February at Raichak to finalise a Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).

 

The MVA is for efficient transit of passenger and cargo vehicles between India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. The agreement will allow passenger, personal and cargo vehicles to ferry along designated key routes in SAARC countries involved, by doing away trans-shipment of goods and passengers at border crossings, which is tedious, and time consuming. MVA is expected to be signed in 2015 when all four nations’ Transport Ministers meet.

 

Protocols will be negotiated by all four neighboring countries under the framework of MVA. Individual national committees and a sub-regional joint committee for overall facilitation of land transport will be set-up coordinate and monitor MVA implementation. The sub-regional agreement is a parallel initiative to proposed SAARC transport agreement. Membership to the sub-regional agreement is open to all other neighbouring countries if they desire.

 

Proposed Motor Vehicles Agreement reduces costly and time-consuming unloading and loading of people and goods at borders, to make cross-border trade efficient. It transforms transport corridors by linking all four countries into economic corridors. MVA will facilitate all transit of all vehicle types between contracting parties as is done in the European Union.

 

The MVA meeting was chaired by India’s Road Transport and Highways Secretary Vijay Chhibber, and delegates of all four countries. Motor Vehicles Agreement looks to ease passenger and goods transit across borders to stimulate trade and commerce in quick time. Faruque Jalil, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges of Bangladesh, Kinley Dorji, Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications of Bhutan, Sanjay Bandyopadhyay, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India and Devendra Karki, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport of Nepal headed the delegation.