Patna: Acceding to the demands made by the women here, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today promised to impose a ban on liquor when he forms the government next time.

Kumar's promise came in response to demands made by some women in the midst of his address at a Village Dialogue Programme of the Social Welfare department here. "When I form government next time, a ban would be imposed on liquor," Kumar said much to the glee of the gathered women.

The Chief Minister in his speech highlighted his government's efforts for empowerment of women. The Bihar government aims to link 1.5 crore women with Self Help Groups (SHG) in its efforts in empowering women, the CM said.

Around 10 lakh SHGs have to be created in Bihar where 1.5 crore women would be linked, Kumar said at the programme.

Connecting 1.5 crore women with SHGs means linking 1.5 crore families and out of a target to constitute 10 lakh SHGs, three-four lakh have already come up, he said.

Kumar said his government ran several schemes for empowerment of women. At the time of launch of the bicycles for class IX girl students programme, 44 per cent of girls were studying in high school level, which increased to 56 per cent due to the scheme, he said.

The number of girls studying at high school level was 8,15,837 while the number of boys was at 8,28,347 which meant a difference of only 13,000, the CM said.

Identifying the strength of women, he said his government reserved 50 per cent seats in panchayats and urban local bodies for them.

Kumar said education of girls has brought down fertility rate in the state from 3.9 to 3.6 now and the aim was to bring it at 2.

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