State-led infrastructure’s role critical in economic development, crises like Covid-19: Hammad

State-led infrastructure's role critical in economic development, crises like Covid-19: Hammad

ISLAMABAD, Mar 3 (APP): Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on Thursday said in emerging economies like Pakistan with areas unserved by conventional markets, the state-led infrastructure not only had a key role in economic development but also in crises like Covid-19.

He made these remarks while delivering his opening remarks at the Infrastructure for Development Conference, said a news release.

Hammad Azhar gave his key note remarks at the Opening Panel Discussion for the third annual #Infra4Dev Conference. Expressing his viewpoint, he said that conventional wisdom of public sector crowding out private investment was over simplified.

The minister gave a historical context that Pakistan had one of the largest irrigation infrastructures in the world and certainly larger than some of the neighbouring countries, which was one of the reasons for having much lesser levels of extreme poverty.

He further highlighted that in the face of pandemic we utilized state led development models to revive our economy.

“We risked the prospect of pandemic turning into an all out recession in Pakistan while being in IMF program. We ramped up the releases and size of our development plans and development budget in centre and provinces,” he added.

The minister said that private sector followed the government’s footsteps and growth rate rose above the pre-covid levels for 2 consecutive years now. Impact of infrastructure development playing role in reviving our economy could clearly be seen, he added.

The Infrastructure for Development Conference series (#Infra4Dev) is an initiative of the World Bank’s Infrastructure Vice-Presidency, aiming to promote dialogue and exchange between leading edge economic researchers and the wider community of policymakers and practitioners on leveraging infrastructure for development.

The theme for this year’s conference is understanding how various forms of infrastructure contribute to improving economic performance.

The World Bank and the International Growth Centre, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science, are partnering for the third annual #Infra4Dev Conference.