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The new Petroleum Market Law is intended to create an environment in which commercial petroleum is supplied safely from domestic and external sources to consumers through a transparent and fair market. It provides for the proper regulation and monitoring of the market in order to achieve this aim.

Recently, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority and other governmental authorities have conducted talks about privatizing the electricity distribution sector and reducing the number of electricity distribution districts. The overarching aim of the discussions is to create a liberal and competitive environment in line with the Electricity Market Law.

Recent consultations concerning the liberalization of the domestic petroleum market have resulted in a major legislative change, namely the new Petroleum Market Law, which was enacted on December 4 2003. The law aims to ensure a steady and economically viable supply of petroleum.

The Electricity Market Law and the Natural Gas Market Law aim to establish transparent, competitive markets that operate in accordance with private law principles. To date, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority has passed a number of decisions to expedite the implementation of these laws and related secondary legislation.

Several private sector electricity companies have initiated legal actions against the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) following the cancellation of various provisions of the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation. The companies claim that the replacement provisions impose additional liabilities on them or affect their existing agreements.

The Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) enacted 13 regulations between September and November 2002 in a bid to standardize and regulate the domestic electricity market. In addition, two draft electricity regulations were recently published on EMRA's website and market players were invited to comment.

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