India hopes for Bhutan's ratification of BBIN soon
Ahead of the implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA), India remains hopeful that Bhutan would ratify the accord soon, top officials said on Thursday.
The four South Asian nations had already signed the BBIN Agreement in June 2016 in Thimphu and the accord was seen as a significant symbol of sub-regional unity.
Despite ratifications by three partner countries, Bhutan's Upper House has not yet ratified the deal, citing environmental as well as livelihood concerns.
However, according to an official from the Royal Government of Bhutan, the country "could ratify in May-June".
"We are hopeful Bhutan will ratify it soon and are eagerly waiting for it. Four countries have been negotiating the protocols and standard operating procedures for the implementation. We made some headway," said Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways' Deputy Secretary A.D. James here.
The investments were being made in roads infrastructure linking the four countries, he said at an event 'Facilitating implementation and stakeholder buy-in in the BBIN sub-region' organised by Cuts International here.
"The agreement is still to be ratified by Bhutan and they have some concerns, though we are very hopeful. In fact, we appreciate the steps being taken by the Bhutanese government for explaining the benefits of the integration," said Joint Secretary of Commerce Ministry (SAARC/South Asia) Bhupinder Singh Bhalla.