Union Minister Farooq Abdullah on Friday got a gentle rap from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for replying in Punjabi to a supplementary question without giving a prior notice.
"You can speak either in English or Hindi. If you want to speak in any other language, we need advance notice to arrange for an interpretor so that everyone could understand," Kumar said after the Minister completed his reply.
When Pratap Singh Bajwa (Congress) asked a supplementary question in English on renewable energy, Abdullah, a Kashmiri, replied in Punjabi. The Minister was, however, assisted in choice of words by another Kashmiri colleague in the Cabinet Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Abdullah's sudden shift to Punjabi saw the House burst into laughter. After the reply was over, the Speaker gently reminded him of the Parliamentary procedure of giving advance notice if someone wants to speak in any language other than English or Hindi.
Bajwa wanted to know about government's efforts to increase power generation from solar and other renewable energy sources.
Abdullah informed the House that the government has undertaken 40 R and D projects for the development of such sources of energy and said even in Parliament House complex efforts were on to replace the conventional lighting with solar panels.
He said tariffs for renewable energy is quite affordable at Rs three per unit but it was quite expensive in case of solar energy which ranged between Rs 15 to Rs 20 per unit and the government was trying to bring down this cost.
He also asked the states to come up with projects and offered help to implement them.
Replying to another question, he said the Ministry of Renewable Energy was working in tandem with the Ministry of Power to achieve "Electricity for All" target by 2012.