Fees not finalised yet
The technical committees of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) yesterday wrapped up their first meeting on the two protocols of the motor vehicle agreement in Dhaka without fixing the fees for using the road corridors.
Insiders said the Indian side proposed for free movement of passengers and personal vehicles and fees for goods vehicles only.
Bangladesh, however, opted for imposing fees for all types of vehicles -- lower for passengers and personal vehicles but higher for freight, they added.
Delegates of BBIN that inked the motor vehicle deal in Thimpu in June for introducing a seamless movement of vehicles among the countries discussed the issues of permitting and tracking vehicles, completing customs and immigration smoothly and ensuring security.
“We also agreed that all vehicles to be permitted for operating in the BBIN region will have a passport or identification and will have to deposit bank guarantee,” an official of the road transport and bridges ministry told The Daily Star at the Westin Hotel, the venue.
Same kind of balance would be maintained on the number of vehicles getting permission. It is not like that a large number of vehicles from a certain country would get priority, according to meeting sources.
During the two-day discussion, all the countries agreed that the fees would be uniform and the amount should not hamper the spirit of the connectivity initiatives.
Another official of the ministry said the routes were almost finalised.
“We have elaborately discussed all the issues relating to implementation of the motor vehicle agreement early next year,” the official said, adding that the Asian Development Bank, which is facilitating the sub-regional connectivity, would refresh the two protocols and send that to the governments concerned.
“Everything will be finalised by December upon getting approval of the protocols by the respective governments,” the official said.
There will be three trial runs of vehicles on three separate routes involving all the four nations.