BBIN Current Affairs - 2020

BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement:  India, Bangladesh, Nepal approve Passenger protocol

Bangladesh, India and Nepal agreed on text of operating procedures for passenger vehicle movement (Passenger protocol) in sub-region under Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).

Decision in this regard was taken at meeting of High-level officials of three countries held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was convened and chaired by India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

Passenger protocol

The passenger protocol agreed upon is document detailing procedures for cross-border movement of buses and private vehicles for transport facilitation in subregion. It will be signed by three countries after completing necessary internal approval processes in their government. The delegations participating countries also agreed to continue to conduct trial movement of cargo vehicles along scheduled routes from April 2018 onwards, before finalizing protocol for cargo vehicular movement.

BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

The landmark MVA was signed by Transport Ministers of BBIN countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) in Thimphu, Bhutan in June 2015. India, Bangladesh and Nepal have already ratified MVA and have agreed to start its implementation among three signatory countries. Bhutan will bandwagon them after it ratifies the agreement.

The agreement will permit member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing technical, advisory, and financial support to BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. Earlier trail runs for cargo vehicles under MVA were conducted along Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Delhi-Kolkata-Dhaka routes which had successfully establishes their economic benefits.

SASEC program: It is projects-based economic cooperation initiative of ADB that brings together BBIN countries, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more recently, Myanmar. ADB (Manila) is secretariat of SASEC.

CCEA approves SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program – Tranche 2

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for upgradation and widening of 65 kms of Imphal-Moreh Section of NH-39 in Manipur.

The Imphal-Moreh Section is a vital link in providing road connectivity up to Thailand and Malaysia. It will boost trade, commerce and tourism in the region.

Key Facts

The project is being developed with Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program. It aims at upgradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity.

The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01).  It will fulfil India’s “Look East” Policy and acts as India’s Gateway to the East. Thus, it will promote and enhance trade link with South East Asia.  The project will also improve connectivity between Imphal with the eastern part of Manipur which is a landlocked state with almost 90% of the area under difficult terrain.

SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Program (SRCIP)

SRCIP is a strategic initiative that aims to achieve regional integration among the members of the SASEC group by improving road connectivity within the North Bengal-North Eastern Region in India. The members of SASEC group are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.