Lack of infrastructure development a big hurdle in promotion of business activities – Mian Shaukat Masud

  • July 20, 2009
Infrastructure development plays a crucial role in economic development of a country. But lack of infrastructure has been a big hurdle in the economic progress of Pakistan putting strains on the smooth growth of trade and industrial activities. Therefore, government should involve private sector by moving to public-private partnership paradigm for developing the country’s infrastructure at a fast pace.

This was stated by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in a statement. He said investment in infrastructure development has proven to be a successful model for reviving economies in the world, but Pakistan could not sustain its growth over time mainly due to lack of supporting infrastructure.

He said our country needs massive supporting infrastructure to absorb, support and sustain increase in growth, but lamented that Pakistan badly failed to develop proper infrastructure despite making many five years plans. Private investment in infrastructure projects has declined in Pakistan over the years as apart from Independent Power Plants ( IPPs) established in 1990s, no major infrastructure project has been completed in Pakistan on BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) paradigm.

He said Pakistan has world’s largest canal system in agriculture but lack of adopting new management practices and latest technology into this system has resulted in poor growth of crops. Similarly ignoring energy, water and communication infrastructures have badly stalled the growth of trade and industrial activities apart from affecting foreign direct investment. All this has led to making significant enhancement in cost of doing business in Pakistan.

He said not only international but local investors are also hesitant to come here due to non-availability of basic facilities. He said instead of creating new jobs energy shortfall has forced to shutdown many industrial units leaving thousands unemployed.  

He said infrastructure development in education and health sectors contributes effectively to sustaining overall development of a country apart from giving boost to social sector development. But in Pakistan, due to lack of interest, health and education sectors infrastructure could not be developed on sound footings which gave rise to poverty in the country. 

He said proper development of infrastructure will help to meet much of local demands like energy, clean drinking water, sanitation facilities, transportation & communication system in addition to creating many job opportunities. Apart from that it will generate demand for more raw materials which in return will make more income for local businesses.

Therefore, he stressed for the need of involving private sector and exploiting its potential for developing infrastructure in all sectors of the economy as these projects are quite expensive and partnership with private sector will enhance the pace of execution of these projects.