English | Dzongkha Friday, November 24, 2017

National Assembly ratifies BBIN transport agreement

Tshering Dema, Thimphu
Jun 22, 2016

National Assembly ratifies BBIN transport agreementOf the 41 members present, 28 voted in favour of the Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of passenger and cargo vehicle traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN). As per the agreement, passenger and cargo vehicles from these four countries will be allowed to travel within certain boundaries provided they have a permit.

Foreign minister, Damcho Dorji, said the agreement will not be implemented immediately. A protocol for implementing the agreement, which is being formulated, will also have to be ratified by the member countries.

“The protocol will not only monitor the number of vehicles coming in and going out of the country but also its movement.”

North Thimphu MP, Kinga Tshering, raised concerns over efficient fuel management since Bhutan imports fuel from India at subsidised rates. Opposition members also highlighted issues of pollution and traffic congestion.

Foreign minister Damcho Dorji said the 5 percent fuel tax will levied automatically while refueling. “It does not mean we will have to maintain the subsidised rates for visitors. We can look at increasing it”, he added.

The BBIN agreement was signed in Thimphu last year. Except for Bhutan, the other three member countries have already ratified the agreement. The BBIN agreement will now be discussed in the National Council.

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