Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan to ink motor vehicle pact

KATHMANDU: Officials from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan (NIBB) agreed to speedily finalize passenger and cargo protocols for the implementation of the NIBB Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).

A meeting of the officials held in New Delhi discussed the passenger and cargo protocols which will give effect to the agreement to regulate passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic between the four countries that was signed in June 2015, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

This was the first meeting of the group of officials since January 2018, when the two protocols were last discussed.

“The meeting was held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, with the delegations agreeing upon the need to expeditiously finalize the passenger and cargo protocols for implementation of the NIBB MVA. The meeting agreed to endeavor to revert by May 2020 on the process of internal consultations by respective countries based on the discussions of the meeting,” the statement said.

The delegations also discussed a draft enabling memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed by Bangladesh, India, and Nepal for implementing the MVA by the three countries. The delegations of the three countries agreed to consider expediting the finalization of this MoU.

Bhutan consented to the entry into force of the MVA among the three other countries without any obligation to it, pending the completion of internal procedures for ratifying the MVA.

The Bhutanese delegation participated in the meeting in an observer capacity, as decided by the country’s government.

The delegations highlighted the importance of enhanced regional connectivity, including facilitation of regional cross-border road transport, and expressed satisfaction at the progress made by each country in internal consultations with stakeholders for the protocol for movement of passengers. They also discussed various aspects of the draft protocol for the movement of cargo vehicles.