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Come September, four Saarc nations start free vehicular movement
Thursday June 18, 2015 11:42 PM, Anil Giri, IANS

Kathmandu: In a major step towards sub-regional cooperation that is bound to have far-reaching consequences in terms of economic development and security, four Saarc nations - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) - will start unhindered vehicular movement between them from September this year.s

Nepal's Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi said on Thursday that direct vehicular movement among the four member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation will kick off from September 18.

The four countries inked the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement in Bhutan's capital Thimphu on Monday.

Minister Nidhi, who returned from the Indian capital New Delhi on Thursday after meeting with India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and other senior government officials, said this while addressing the media at the Tribhuvan International Airport here.

He said all the bilateral agreements among the BBIN countries for implementation of the newly inked accord will be made by mid-September so that regulations of passenger and cargo vehicular traffic among the four Saarc countries could come into effect from September 18.

Nepal and India have already signed the Motor Vehicle Agreement during the 18th Saarc Summit held in Kathmandu last November.

Nidhi shared that the accord will not only help facilitate seamless and unhindered transport between the BBIN countries, but also help in promotion of economic development and tourism of these countries.

"The accord has paved a new way for overall development of these countries," he asserted.

Not only that, the minister also expressed his confidence that the agreement would ease transporting construction material from third countries to Nepal for reconstruction and resettlement of the April 25 earthquake survivors.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at girianil@gmail.com)



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