Explain the term infrastructure.
The term infrastructure refers to the underlying tangible and organisational structures that are essential for the smooth and prosperous functioning of an economy. In other words, infrastructure is regarded as a core support system that enables an economy to grow and develop. Generally, the term infrastructure means technical structure such as roads, transport, communication, bridges, dams, power, public institutions like schools, hospitals, etc. These structures not only serve as basic input for various economic activities like production, investment, but also enable an economy to break the shackles of traditional and primitive social structures and customs. The difference between a developed country and an underdeveloped country can be mainly attributed to the lack of sufficient and technically advanced infrastructure in the latter. Infrastructure has two-fold benefits- as an input and as a support system. Infrastructure as an input (roads, bank and power) facilitates the production process and attracts investment from domestic as well as from foreign investors. Infrastructure as a support system (such as schools, hospital) develops the quality of human capital by imparting quality and technical education and health facilities. This raises the standard and quality of living and helps the economy to eradicate major economic problems like poverty, unemployment and inequality. Hence, it can be concluded that the presence of quality and sufficient infrastructure is a necessary and sufficient condition for accomplishing economic growth and development.