2nd Meeting of Expert Group to Finalize Saarc Motor Vehicles Agreement Gets Underway Positive Response to Followup Initiative to Thimpu Declaration-Dr. Cp Joshi 2010-20, Decade of Intra Regional Connectivity in Saarc Says Thimpu Declaration
The second meeting of the Expert Group to negotiate SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement began in Udaipur, Rajasthan today. Inaugurating the two day meeting Dr. C P Joshi, the Union Minister for Railways and Road Transport and Highways said the Draft SAARC Motor Vehicle Agreement will go a long way in strengthening the ties and promote multilateralism among member nations. The Sixteenth SAARC Summit in Thimphu, endorsed the recommendation to declare 2010-20 as the Decade of Intra-regional Connectivity in SAARC. It was agreed on the need to expedite negotiations with a view to finalize the agreements on Motor Vehicles and Railways. Referring to positive response to the initiative received from all member states the Minister expressed hope to fulfill the Thimpu recommendation. Dr. Joshi said that economies are developing and roads propel the engine of growth. In India, the road infrastructure transports over 85 per cent of passenger traffic and over 60 per cent of freight traffic, he added. The National Highways constitute only 2 per cent length of India™s road network, however they carry 40 per cent of the vehicular traffic. Informing that there are over 142 million registered vehicles on Indian roads,Dr. Joshi said that last decade observed a compound annual growth rate of 9.9 per cent. In view of the growth story of member states, it is time to develop a Regional Agreement on Motor Vehicles and a Regional Agreement on Railways as discussed in the 14th SAARC summit in New Delhi. SAARC stands for promoting the welfare of the people of South Asia and to improve their quality of life.
Expressing hope to arrive at many fruitful and far reaching conclusions, the Minister said these will form the basis for economic advancement and socio-economic and cultural integration of people in this region.
The participants in this two day meeting are going to negotiate a draft agreement aiming to promote the welfare of the people of South Asia, to improve their quality of life, to accelerate the economic growth and social progress and cultural development in the region by ensuring collective self-reliance among the countries of SOUTH ASIA.