Bhopal: Union Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi today blamed environmental degradation for spiraling prices of essential commodities, which has been burning a hole in the pockets of common people.
"Forests are being cleared and water sources are shrinking. This has caused environmental imbalance resulting in changes in weather pattern. I have been working to protect the environment since the last 30 years," she said.
The monsoon season has stretched to five months from its earlier spell of two months, she said, adding that sown areas are being washed out by untimely rain.
When she was asked whether the central government is worried about rising prices of essential commodities, especially dal (pulses), she said, "I don't want to answer this question. I also eat dal".
When she was asked a series of questions about the causes behind rising prices, she said, "I am not an economist. I am an environmentalist. I am really worried about the environment".