The Financial Express

Bangladesh, India, Nepal to resume BBIN talks in Delhi on Nov 12

| Updated: November 08, 2021 20:19:56

Bangladesh, India, Nepal to resume BBIN talks in Delhi on Nov 12

Bangladesh, India and Nepal among BBIN member countries are set to resume the talks on Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) in New Delhi on November 12 -- almost two years after the last meeting was held.

As Bhutan is yet to ratify the MVA, the initiative to start seamless movement of all kinds of vehicles will continue to focus on the remaining three member countries, confirmed the official sources.

The sub-regional connectivity initiative - BBIN MVA (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement) - held its last meeting of the joint working group on February 8, 2020 where Bhutan attended as an observer.

Since the MVA was signed in Bhutan by the BBIN countries on June 15, 2015 aiming at free movement of cross border road transport of all categories among the four member counties, the initiative had faced bars due to not ratifying the agreement by Nepal and Bhutan on various grounds.

Later, Nepal joined the group agreeing to run a tri-national bus service - the trial was held on April 27, 2018.

But Bhutan considered MVA a threat to its environment and social system and decided not to join.

Official sources said the meeting was called this November 12 to revive the discussion as all member countries have their observation on the draft protocols. However, the presence of Bhutan in the next meeting is yet not confirmed.

After the meeting in February 2020, the next meeting was supposed to be held in the following May, but it was halted due to global coronavirus situation, said an official.

He said they were expecting to discuss the issues placed by different quarters, including the National Board of Revenue, on the draft protocols.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges are expected to attend the next meeting, the sources added.

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