Nepal | July 09, 2020

Stakeholders seek early implementation of BBIN MVA

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
Share Now:

Kathmandu, August 11

Stakeholders have urged the government to put in more efforts to implement the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) as soon as possible.

Citing that implementation of BBIN MVA is crucial to diversify Nepal’s trade in the South Asian region and also ease trading activities, they have asked the government to coordinate with other member countries to execute the agreement.

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal in June 2015 had signed a framework agreement for the regulation of passenger and cargo vehicular movement among these countries — MVA — in a bid to enhance regional economic integration through transport and transit facilitation.

The BBIN MVA allows vehicles in any member countries to cross borders without hassles along the agreed routes. In doing so, the MVA gets rid of the cumbersome process of transloading and allows the entry of vehicles all the way to inland container depot (ICD), thus mitigating border congestion and reducing both time and trade cost.

However, the BBIN MVA encountered a major roadblock when Bhutan failed to ratify the MVA thereby preventing the agreement’s entry into force. The other three countries are now exploring, with Bhutan’s consent, ways to move ahead with the agreement.

Against this backdrop, the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today organised an interaction to discuss the implications of the BBIN MVA for Nepal.

Addressing the event, Puspa Raj Kadel, vice-chairperson of the National Planning Commission, suggested conducting pilot programmes along certain routes for a few months, the experience obtained from which could be used to enhance the draft protocol of the MVA. “The MVA is crucial for expanding the trade relationship between member countries and needs to be executed soon,” he said.

Ronald Antonio Butiong, director at ADB, noted that the MVA would help reduce transshipment at the border, thereby leading to reduced logistics cost.

However, he mentioned that there are misconceptions about the MVA, which he hoped the workshop was able to clarify.

For example, the MVA implementation would not result in a ‘free for all’ in cross-border transport operations, as per him.

“The motor vehicle agreement has restrictions on number of permitted vehicles, allowable routes and border crossing points and technical specifications of vehicles. Foreign transport operators will also not be allowed to conduct domestic transport in the host country,” Butiong added.

On the occasion, Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), emphasised that connectivity is Nepal’s priority and hence the ministry has advocated for implementation of the MVA after certain ambiguities in the agreement are clarified in the protocol.

Meanwhile, Rabi Shankar Sainju, former joint secretary at the MoICS, pointed out that the reduction in trade costs (through BBIM MVA implementation) could be as much as 30 per cent and recommended that a memorandum of understanding be signed to implement the BBIN MVA amongst three countries on a provisional basis.

“The BBIN MVA implementation could open avenues for alternative routes and ports for overseas trade and unhindered movement of cargo and passenger vehicles to third countries through India,” said Posh Raj Pandey, chairman of SAWTEE. Pandey also underscored that the ambiguities in the motor vehicle agreement can be and should be clarified in the protocol.


A version of this article appears in print on August 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Chelsea close in on Champions League spot with 3-2 win at Palace

LONDON: Chelsea kept up their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League and Champions League football next season with a 3-2 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace on Tuesday thanks to goals from Olivier Giroud, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham. The visitors took a two-goal lead i Read More...

Singh Durbar

New nuke law stipulates plan for disaster management

KATHMANDU, JULY 7 The Radioactive Materials Use and Regulation Act, 2020, recently authenticated by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, requires the Government of Nepal to develop and implement a disaster preparedness and management plan at the national level to prevent and manage any disastrous impa Read More...

Furdiki Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa

Hit hard by pandemic, Sherpa widows face uphill battle

KATHMANDU, JULY 7 After conquering Mount Everest and shattering taboos, two Nepali Sherpa widows face a new challenge, the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down all climbing and trekking activities rendering them jobless. Nima Doma Sherpa and Furdiki Sherpa made global headlines when t Read More...

Jewellery store burglary racket busted

KATHMANDU, JULY 7 Police have busted a racket of thieves, who were allegedly involved in burgling jewellery stores in Kathmandu valley, under the guise of scrap collectors. Those taken into custody for legal action have been identified as Ganga Bahadur Tamang aka Sumit, 37, and Junga Bahadur M Read More...

Isolation wards empty as COVID-19 cases stay put in quarantine

DHANGADI, JULY 7 Isolation wards that were set up to keep COVID-19 infected patients are mostly empty as most of the infected continue to stay in quarantine shelters in Sudurpaschim Province. As per data with Sudurpaschim Province Social Development Ministry, as of now, the total number of COV Read More...

Irrigation project elates farmers

NEPALGUNJ, JULY 7 Farmers in Banke were elated after Sikta Irrigation Project released water in the project’s western and eastern canals keeping in view the paddy plantation time this year. Man Bahadur Magar of Kamdi, Duduwa Rural Municipality, said he could plant paddy on time this year aft Read More...

Financial institutions, banks urged not to pile pressure for loan payment

POKHARA, JULY 7 Western Regional Hotel Association, Pokhara, has urged banks and financial institutions not to pile pressure for loan payment. Banks and financial institutions are pressing hotels and the tourism sector to pay back the loan and interest, on the ground that the fiscal year was d Read More...

Parliamentary committee probing irregularities

DHANGADI, JULY 7 The federal Parliament’s Agriculture, Cooperatives and Natural Resources Committee has started investigating alleged irregularities carried out in the name of scientific forest management. A team of the panel comprising Shanta Chaudhary, Satya Narayan Sharma Khanal and Raj B Read More...