Ahead of the implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA), India remains hopeful that Bhutan would ratify the accord soon, top officials said on Thursday.

The four South Asian nations had already signed the BBIN Agreement in June 2016 in Thimphu and the accord was seen as a significant symbol of sub-regional unity. Despite ratifications by three partner countries, Bhutan's Upper House has not yet ratified the deal, citing environmental as well as livelihood concerns. However, according to an official from the Royal Government of Bhutan, the country "could ratify in May-June".

India proposed a SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement during the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November 2014. Due to objections from Pakistan, an agreement could not be reached. India instead pursued a similar motor vehicle agreement with the BBIN. The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement was signed on 15 June 2015.

It enables vehicles to enter any of the four nations without the need for trans-shipment of goods from one country's truck to another's at the border. Under the system, cargo vehicles are tracked electronically, permits are issued online and sent electronically to all land ports. Vehicles are fitted with an electronic seal that alerts regulators every time the container door is opened.

Signing of the BBIN agreement will promote safe, economical efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the sub-region and will further help each country in creating an institutional mechanism for regional integration. BBIN countries will be benefited by mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region. The people of the four countries will benefit through seamless movement of goods and passenger across borders.

India has already undertaken cargo trial runs from Dhaka to Delhi in August 2016 in order to seek solution to challenges that may arise after the implementations, the official said.  The implementation of the agreement is expected to improve the value chain in sub-regional trade. BBIN sub-grouping was expected to be the gateway to southeast and east Asia. India is working for development of interconnectivity infrastructure for Myanmar and Thailand.