All BBIN-MVA documents should be available on websites: CPD

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Saturday said all relevant documents, including the BBIN-Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), protocols, permit forms, information about fees, surcharges and user-fees should be freely available, on dedicated websites to ensure transparency in all steps.

“It’s not enough to design the implementation modalities to ensure win-win outcomes. It’s also equally important that this is perceived to be so by the citizens,” said CPD Executive Director BBINProf Mustafizur Rahman highlighting the importance of access to information and transparency about follow-up actions.

The economist made the observation while making his presentation at a dialogue held at Brac Centre Inn auditorium on ‘Trade Facilitation in South Asia through Transport Connectivity: Operationalising the Motor Vehicle Agreements (MVAs)’ that signed by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN).

Road Transport and Bridges Minister M Obaidul Quader attended the dialogue as the chief guest.

Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran and Ambassador, Royal Nepalese Embassy Hari Kumar Shrestha attended the programme as special guests.

President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Abdul Matlub Ahmad was also present. CPD Chairman Prof Rehman Sobhan chaired the session.

Concordance ought to be maintained between Protocols, SOPs and Fees of BBIN-MVA and SAARC-MVA (and also proposed Bangladesh-India Multi-modal Transport Agreement).

The economist of the civil society think tank said there is need for a comprehensive connectivity strategy which should be aligned with investment strategy of Bangladesh.

“Monitoring committees will need to be set up for monitoring the implementation of the BBIN MVA,” he said adding that national committee to be set up in each of the four countries.

Prof Rahman said transport connectivity is the key to all forms of connectivity. “However, South Asia has till date continued to remain the most disconnected region in the world, with high cost of doing business and missed opportunities.”

On future challenges regarding MVA implementation, the economist said the road maintenance fees levied by the host country on vehicles engaged in cross-border traffic (both transit and interstate) shall be commensurate to the road maintenance fees levied by the host country on its domestic vehicles.