India’s plan for a sub-regional motor vehicle agreement faced a setback as the Bhutan government. It asked the other members of the ‘BBIN’ grouping to continue to operationalise it without Bhutan.
- Bhutan government announced that it is not ready to go ahead with the process at present.
- Bhutan decided to give its consent for the entry into force of the agreement among the 3 member-states without any obligation to Bhutan.
- The agreement will enter into force for Bhutan after its ratification process is completed.
Why Bhutan withdraws ?
- Decision to step out of the BBIN process comes on the back of severe domestic opposition to the motor vehicles agreement,
- Primarily on fears of vehicular pollution and environmental degradation if trucks from neighbouring countries are given access to Bhutan,
- Bhutan is a country that prides itself on its “carbon neutrality” and preserving the environment.
- The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) initiative is a sub regional architecture of countries in South Asia.
- BBIN agreement aims to promote safe, environmentally sound and economical efficient road transport in the sub-region of BBIN.
- The agreement will permit the member states to ply their vehicles in each other’s territory for transportation of cargo and passengers, including third country transport and personal vehicles.
- It also seeks to help each member country to create an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
- BBIN agreement will benefit member nations for mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.
Source : The Hindu
GS II : Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests