CONCEPT AND MEANING OF INFRASTRUCTURE:
Infrastructure sectors are the backbone of a national economy. It has been commonly opined that infrastructure development is closely related to economic growth and poverty reduction. Therefore, development plans of all countries, particularly those of the less-developed countries, are aimed at the development of infrastructure sectors through sector specific policies, which, in turn, generate sustained economic growth. The word "infrastructure" is defined in dictionary as "the underlying foundation or basic framework" (See Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary, 1985, p. 621). By this definition, infrastructure is the basis for development. In other words, infrastructure is taken as the foundation on which the factors of production interact in order to produce output. Infrastructure, in the general sense, is taken to refer to large-scale public systems, services, and facilities that are necessary for economic activity. Broadly, infrastructure includes all public services from law and order through education and public health to transportation, communications, power and water supply, as well as irrigation and drainage systems. Infrastructure can be classified as 'economic infrastructure' and 'social infrastructure'. Economic infrastructure comprises of sectors that have capital investments on hardware as a significant component. On the other hand, social infrastructure sectors like health, education etc. have less significant capital investments. Transport sector (Roads, Railways, Airports, Seaports), Energy facilities (Power, POL infrastructure, terminals, pipelines), Communication facilities (Telecom, Posts), and Banks are the important constituents of economic infrastructure.