Pact for seamless vehicles transit in 4 SAARC nations
Once implemented, the agreement will reduce the costly and time-consuming unloading and loading of people and goods at border crossing points, making cross-border trade more efficient, the government said.
"Senior officials from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal met at Raichak near Kolkata to finalise Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) for seamless transit of passenger and cargo vehicles between their countries and draw up plans for its speedy implementation," an official statement said.
The agreement will allow passenger, personal and cargo vehicles to travel along designated key routes in the four SAARC countries without the need for trans-shipment of goods and passengers at the border crossings. It is expected to be signed at a meeting of Transport Ministers of the four countries to be held soon this year, the statement by Road Transport and Highways Ministry said.
The arrangements for implementing the agreement will be spelt out through protocols that the four neighbouring countries will negotiate separately under the framework of this agreement, it said.
"They agreed to set up individual national committees and a sub-regional joint committee for overall facilitation of land transport and to
coordinate and monitor the agreement's implementation," it added. The sub-regional pact would be a parallel initiative to the proposed SAARC transport agreement for which ongoing efforts to find early resolution would continue. ■