You should have given advance notice, says Speaker
There was much bonhomie in the Lok Sabha on Friday, when Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah drew applause from the House for answering a supplementary question in Punjabi, though Speaker Meira Kumar said he should have given notice.
“You can speak in either English or Hindi. If you want to speak in any other language, we need advance notice to arrange for an interpreter, so that everyone could understand,” Ms. Kumar said after Dr. Abdullah completed his reply.
While responding to a supplementary by Pratap Singh Bajwa of the Congress, Dr. Abdullah was assisted in the choice of words by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, his Cabinet colleague from Kashmir. The House burst into laughter when Dr. Abdullah started speaking in Punjabi, being occasionally prompted by Mr. Azad sitting next to him. And Mr. Azad was among the first to thump the desk once Dr. Abdullah completed the response. But the Speaker reminded him of the procedure. Mr. Bajwa wanted to know about the government's efforts to increase power generation from solar and other renewable sources of energy.
Dr. Abdullah said the government undertook 40 projects for developing such sources of energy; efforts were being made to replace the conventional lighting in the Parliament House complex with solar panels. Tariffs on renewable energy were quite affordable, at Rs. 3 a unit, but in the case of solar energy, it was quite expensive, ranging from Rs. 15 to Rs. 20, and the government was trying to bring it down, he said. Dr. Abdullah urged the States to come up with projects and offered them help in their implementation.