Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Professor Atiur Rahman, former Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB), on Friday said put people first while implementing the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA).
“The BBIN MVA will be a starting point for greater level of cooperation in many other areas including easing of custom procedures and other port related activities,” Dr. Rahman said while chairing the concluding session of the research project on the Agreement at the Oberoi Grand Hotel in Kolkata.
Citing East African experience the senior economist said use of ICT for digital tracking of the vehicles and sending pre-arrival of documents through electronic means so that there is a seamless movement of the motor vehicles across the border without any delay or hassle.
“This will certainly reduce time and cost of doing business,” the former BB governor explained.
He also advised involved stakeholders to focus first on vehicles carrying passengers so that people start enjoying the benefits of seamless vehicle movement. “The people will then become brand ambassadors for this Agreement.”
This will be followed by cargo traffic movement demanding harmonization of standards and developing common protocols, according to the former governor.
He also said there is a need for media campaign for faster implementation of the Agreement.
“The social media can also be gainfully utilized to share the wider gains of the Agreement with the citizens in terms of expansion of local businesses around the ports and its impact on employment generation and reduction of poverty,” he noted.
He also said: “The development partners need to be roped in as it will need huge investment as connected roads will have to develop at the same pace. They will be interested in such a project as it will help expand the regional market and improve the value-chains.”
Professor Rahman also emphasized on the need for attracting private capital through private public partnership.
Earlier on June 15, 2015, the BBIN MVA was signed in the BBIN Transport Ministers Meeting in Thimphu, Bhutan.
The agreement has identified 14 routes for regular and non-regular passenger vehicles between the countries.
Of these 5 are between India and Bangladesh, 2 between Bangladesh, India and Nepal, 2 between Bangladesh, India and Bhutan, 1 between India and Nepal, 3 between India and Bhutan, and 1 between Nepal and Bhutan.
For cargo vehicles 15 routes have been designated, of which 5 are in Bangladesh, 4 in Bhutan, 1 in India, 5 in Nepal.
The agreement has identified 30 priority road construction projects and of these 7 are in Bangladesh. Of these 7 projects, 3 involve new road constructions and the other 4 involve four laning of existing roads/highways.