Industrial Economist (IE): How do you manage a debt free budget after providing free laptop to all students from pre-kindergarten to post-graduation, full city wi-fi and affordable housing to almost 50 per cent of the population?
Claudio Javier Poggi(CJP):
San Luis Province is very competitive in econom
ic activity and is socially inclusive. In line with our policy of digital inclusion we have given laptops to all and made the full province wi-fi connected. First, we did all the connectivity and then we gave the laptops beginning from the primary schools in the province to the post graduate students, so that students in the small towns have the same opportunity as students in the metro.
Housing is provided through an economic redistribution policy. It is very difficult in Argentina for the common man to own a house through bank credit. The government builds the houses, offers these for buying on mortgage of 25-30 years. This ensures that we don’t have slums and this is also one of the ways to bring investor to the province. Our budget size is a thousand million dollars and by law 50 per cent of this goes directly to investment in infrastructure. We ensure that we don’t spend more than what we have. We passed through a lot of crises and today we are a stable economy. But inflation is still high at around 25 per cent.
40 per cent of San Luis economy is contributed by industry, 20-30 per cent by services and 30-40 per cent by agriculture. IE: In what areas do you think India and Argentina can collaborate?CJP:
we are a 40 million people market for India. With very good natural resources, San Luis has a strong food processing industry which can help India in addressing its food security needs.