Patna: Poor households in Bihar will be provided poultry and goats free-of-cost so that they get their supplement of nutrition in the form of eggs and milk, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Saturday.

"Every poor family will get three goats each through self -help groups (SHGs) as part of a development plan. Besides, 5.50 lakh households each will get 45 hens in three installments through SHGs," he said, adding that the move would ensure that the poor families get milk and eggs.

To make women economically stronger, Kumar said, the state government has planned to constitute 10 lakh SHGs in five years. Each SHG would comprise of 15 members.

"This way, SHGs will reach to six crore people which is 55-60 per cent population of the state," he said.

The burgeoning population which has risen by 25 per cent in the last 10 years poses a major challenge to the state, he said. "If the population continues to rise at this rate, Bihar's population would be over 20 crore in 2050," he said.

Population growth rate can be curtailed through popularizing education particularly among women, Kumar said.  "It has been reported that if girls are matriculate, their families have only two children...," he said, adding that education could be spread among women effectively by SHGs.

At the same function, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said bank interest rate for SHGs should be brought down to 7 per cent like on agricultural loan instead of the current 10-12 per cent.


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