“You and I travel by road or rail, economists use infrastructure” is a famous quote attributed to Margaret Thatcher and though I have never been supportive of views from the conservative quarters, she had a point worth debating: Is infrastructure only hype created by economists?
The simple answer is No. Infrastructure affects everyone. Ask people who do not have running water in their houses or ask daily commuters fighting traffic on Manila’s congested roads. Why Manila alone: commuters in Washington DC blog about metro continuously. Infrastructure services or lack thereof remains important issue for all of us. Yet, I find that often the right issues are not brought forward. Debates are narrow and focus on the day’s fads.
What are the important issues? I hope this blog will cover them over the course of time from an economist’s point of view. While doing this, I must emphasize that everything about infrastructure is political and so debates will inevitably cross into political and other subject boundaries. I want nothing more than an enlightened debate about issues related to infrastructure. At times, I will take extreme positions, not because I hold these viewpoints, but because extreme ideas help to energize people.
I am Rita Nangia, a development practitioner with over 35 years of experience. I was fortunate enough to have hands-on policy experience dealing with complex issues in energy and infrastructure sectors, in the Government of India, in a development finance institution, and in research institutions.