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The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the Signing and ratifying the SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement at the SAARC summit on November 26-27, 2014 in Kathmandu. Further, the Cabinet approved the signing of a Bilateral Agreement for the regulation of passenger traffic between Government of India and Republic of Nepal on the sidelines of the forthcoming SAARC Summit in Kathmandu. The Cabinet has also authorized the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to sign similar Bilateral Agreements and Protocols with other SAARC member States.

The SAARC Transport Ministers, at their second meeting in Colombo (25 July 2009), approved the recommendations of Inter Governmental Group on Transport (IGGT) to set up an Expert Group to negotiate and finalize the text of the draft Regional Agreement on Motor Vehicles for SAARC Member States. The Expert Group on the SAARC Motor Vehicles Agreement, in its third meeting held at Neemrana (Rajasthan) on 7-8 September 2014, considered and finalized the draft text of the agreement which was endorsed in the Fifth meeting of the SAARC IGGT held on 30th September 2014 at New Delhi attended by delegations from all Member States except Maldives. This Agreement provides for the Member States allowing the vehicles of other Member States to ply in their territory for transportation of Cargo and Passengers subject to various terms and conditions in the Agreement and obtaining permits for such transport from the Member States as per procedure and protocols prescribed in the Agreement. The agreement once signed will result in closer regional economic cooperation and integration through enhanced regional connectivity by allowing movement of goods and passengers in the region through road transport.

The Agreement is proposed to be signed at SAARC summit on November 26-27th, 2014 in Kathmandu. The Agreement will go a long way in strengthening the ties and promoting multilaterism among SAARC Member States.

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