The South Asian Region witnesses the largest human population living under the poverty line, the same region also possesses the fastest demographic growth rates in the world. Majority of the people living in this region remain unconnected or partially connected to a reliable electrical grip, a safe water supply, sanitary sewerage disposal, good roads and dependable transport networks. This region hence requires a significant infrastructural investment, not just to ensure basic service delivery and enhanced quality of life, but also making sure, to eliminate possible binding constraints on economic growth, resulting in a major infrastructural gap. The estimate of the size of the infrastructure gap in South Asia presently is US$1.7 trillion - US$2.5 trillion until 2020.
Countries falling in the South Asian region have figured out that the public sector is unlikely to mobilize the required resources of development and therefore, the private sector is to be brought as a substantial source of finance. Participation of private sector in infrastructure will ensure a larger flow of resources and also will introduce greater efficiency in supplying these services.
Pakistan is a low-middle-income country with a population of 200 million people. As per the U.N. report, Pakistan falls 147 out of 188 in Human Development Index. Gradually The government of Pakistan has stressed on the importance of public-private-partnerships over debt based financial projects to fill up the investment gap for infrastructural development. These arrangements have been beneficial, spurring the country's economic growth and also have lowered down the burden of govt subsidiaries. Still a major part is left to accomplish and Pakistan will need further empowerment and involvement in order to sustain its infrastructure.
India is the seventh largest country by area and the second most populous country in the world, with a whooping population of more than 1.3 billion people. India as a developing nation faces various growth and development issues. India only has 2.4% of the world's surface area, but it supports almost 18% of the world population and also houses the largest population in the world without electricity i.e. 304 million. India needs an infrastructural investment of more than US$800 billion by 2022 to have a sustainable development in the country.
Bhutan, also known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a picturesque country bordering India and situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. Although Bhutan has a lot of potential in tourism, the infrastructure in Bhutan still remains a question. Due to the mountainous terrain, road construction, and therefore development of all regions within the country, has always been a challenge. Quality of water remains a major issue for Bhutan and its citizens, especially during monsoons when water contamination diseases like diarrhoea take a toll on human lives.
Nepal remains as one of the poorest countries in the world today and continues to cope with the effects of a decade-long insurgency that ended in 2006. Located in the majestic Himalayan ranges, the country is greatly impacted by global climate change and struggles with both water scarcity in some areas and increased flooding in others. Lack of basic infrastructure has forced Nepal to witness an average of below 4 percent economic growth over the past decade. Nepal's medium-term ambition is to become a middle-income nation by 2030, while graduating out of the least developed country status by 2022. Nepal needs almost USD 10 billion every year in terms of foreign direct investment to graduate from the current LDC status.
The smallest and the only Island country in this region needs a major Foreign direct investment, as it remains below 2 percent of GDP, far lower than the levels of FDI in other middle-income countries, in Southeast Asia. Developing a successful PPP program is a complex undertaking and continues to be a challenge for Sri Lanka. An additional issue is the 50% increase in the size of the public sector in the last decade and the continuing large state presence in key economic sectors. The Government of Sri Lanka is trying to address the infrastructure constraints and has launched its Vision 2025 designed to strengthen equitable growth and push infrastructure and GDP, among other objectives.
Bangladesh is the least developed country in South Asian Region. 31% of its population lives below the poverty line with 2 million unemployed citizens. With approximately 130 million citizens, Bangladesh has the highest population density among large countries. The government of Bangladesh has declared Vision 2021 – targeting to be a higher middle income country by 2021. For this it needs to increase the growth rate of the country, languishing around the 6% for the last decade, to 8% - 10% as per World Bank reports. Infrastructure across the nation is hugely affected by large deficits and requires more than USD 10 Billion investment over the next 3 – 4 years to enable making a considerable impact on the lives of the people.