Motor Vehicles Agreement ratified to boost regional road links

Motor Vehicles Agreement ratified to boost regional road links

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The Cabinet on Monday ratified the ‘Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal, and Cargo Vehicular Traffic with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal’ (BBIN), aiming to boost road connectivity in the region.
The ratification came from the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed reporters after the meeting.He said the Cabinet approved the agreement on June 8 this year while this framework agreement signed during the Transport Ministers meeting of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal on June 15 in Bhutan.
The Cabinet Secretary said the ratification was needed as part of the process to complete the formalities of its effectiveness by respective governments.
He said a trilateral agreement and proposal will have to be signed to make the deal effective, and officials concerned (of Joint Secretary level) of the four countries will gather in a meeting in Dhaka on September 8-9 to finalise the deal and proposal.
Besides, a car rally involving the four countries will be held in October this year that will start from Bhubaneswar of India and end in Kolkata via Chittagong and Dhaka, he said.
The initiative was to sign the agreement during the last Saarc Summit held in Kathmandu last year, but that could not be signed since one country could not complete the internal process.
Before finalisation of the agreement, transport secretaries and other officials concerned of these four countries met in Kolkata and in Chennai of India for making further advancement on the agreement.
The draft agreement has kept a scope for the inclusion of any country subject to the consent of these four countries.
Besides, under the agreement, the vehicles concerned would need to take permits, no vehicle could take passengers and carry goods midway in any country, and the authorized officials of the traveling country could search the vehicles, and the vehicles must have insurances, abide by the prohibited and restricted list of the travelling country.
The relevant countries could review the agreement after every three years or before, even could withdraw from the agreement giving a six months’ notice.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier had shown keen interest and taken initiative for the finalisation of this agreement since she had long been advocating for boosting the connectivity and cooperation among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet in its meeting returned the draft of the Vested Property Retuned (Amendment) Act, 2015 for further scrutiny by the Law and Land Ministries.
Ministers and State Ministers attended the meeting. Secretaries concerned were also present.- UNB

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