Volvo buses have become so popular that even other buses have begun to display the name on them, observes Transport Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana.

On its part, the APSRTC has as many as 70 Volvo buses at present and they have become very popular with the travelling public for the cosy comforts offered.

Though the chassis and engine are imported from the Swedish firm, the bodybuilding assembly is made locally which is not to the entire satisfaction of customers and therefore the company was requested by the APSRTC to ensure that it handed over quality buses, he discloses.

There is meaning if Deepika and Shilpa, the young and beautiful singers, popular as Nightingale Sisters of Hyderabad, had mesmerised the audience with their melodious songs before the commencement of a meeting to mark valedictory of APSRTC sports and cultural festival here at the Kalavani stadium on Saturday. But as soon as the meeting started, it was Minister for Sports, Culture and Cinematography M. Satyanarayana Rao who became the cynosure of all eyes.

Despite being a septuagenarian, MSR, as he is fondly called, had an added qualification to the long list of invitees having served as Chairman of APSRTC in 90s. "I think I am the luckiest Minister in YSR Cabinet. I am busy attending sports events during day and cultural programmes during evenings without encountering any problem like my counterparts holding other portfolios. Now and then, I do also get invitation to film studios to attend muhurats and other celebrations," he said sending the jam-packed auditorium into peels of laughter.

Why is it that many public sector giants are unable to match the performance of private sector enterprises despite their inherent advantages?

The reason: bureaucratic red tape. While private telecom operators have fixed a pulse rate of 60 seconds for the coin box phones, the public sector BSNL has fixed it at 45 seconds. It goes without saying that any caller would choose the services of the former.

When his attention was drawn to the fact, Chief General Manager of BSNL (AP Circle) R.K. Arnold admitted it was a loss to customers and that it had an adverse impact on the revenue of BSNL.

"The tariff has been fixed by our corporate office in Delhi and there is nothing we can do about it locally," he said nonchalantly.