Representatives of Bhutan participated in the meeting in an observer capacity as decided by the Royal Government of Bhutan.
New Delhi: At a meeting on Saturday in the national capital, India along with two other neighbours — Bangladesh and Nepal — discussed a “draft enabling memorandum of understanding (MoU)” to be signed by the three countries for implementation of the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) MVA (Motor Vehicles Agreement). Bhutan will not join as of now “pending the completion by Bhutan of its internal procedures for ratification of the BBIN MVA”. But Bhutan — which attended Saturday’s meeting in New Delhi as an “observer” —- has given its “consent” to the other three countries to go ahead.
On Saturday, the MEA said, “A meeting of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal on the BBIN MVA was held at New Delhi on February 8. Representatives of Bhutan participated in the meeting in an observer capacity as decided by the Royal Government of Bhutan earlier. The meeting was held to discuss the passenger and cargo protocols that are to give effect to the Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) for the regulation of passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal, signed on June 15, 2015. This is the first meeting of the group since their meeting in Bengaluru in January 2018, when the two protocols were last discussed.”
The MEA added, “The delegations also discussed a draft enabling MOU to be signed by Bangladesh, India and Nepal for implementation of the BBIN MVA by the three countries, bearing in mind the consent provided by the Royal Government of Bhutan for the entry into force of the MVA among Bangladesh, India and Nepal, without obligation to Bhutan, pending the completion by Bhutan of its internal procedures for ratification of the BBIN MVA.
The delegations of Bangladesh, India and Nepal agreed to consider expediting the finalisation of this MoU, expressing gratitude to Bhutan for offering its consent in this regard.”
The MEA also said, “Delegations recalled commitments made at the highest political level for implementation of the BBIN MVA and the importance of trade, economic cooperation and people-to-people contact, through enhanced regional connectivity, including through facilitation of regional cross-border road transport.
Delegations expressed satisfaction over progress made by each country in internal consultations with their stakeholders for the protocol for movement of passengers.