site.btaLegislation to Ensure Security of Critical Oil Infrastructure Backed on Second Reading at Competent Committee
The parliamentary economic policy committee backed on second - and last - reading amendments to the Act on Administrative Regulation of Economic Activities Involving Crude Oil and Petroleum Products aiming to ensure the security of critical oil infrastructure in Bulgaria.
The changes, proposed by the Democratic Bulgaria parliamentary group, are aimed to give state institutions an instrument to react to complicated situations such as the present domestic situation in Bulgaria and ensure the security of critical energy infrastructure related to crude oil and petroleum products, the security of supplies, the quality of services, price levels and the life and health of the Bulgarian people. When Bulgaria's national security is jeopardized or international restrictive measures are violated, or someone abuses their dominant market position, the Minister of Economy and Industry can appoint a special commercial manager at the company operating the critical infrastructure in question. This management body may consist of more than one person but may not have more than three members.
The debate in the committee focused on the what operators of critical oil infrastructure shall be put within the scope of the Economy Minister's control. Deputy Finance Minister Lyudmila Petkova disagreed with the proposed texts as they imply the inclusion of in-house fuel stations in the scope of the law rather than only refineries. She proposed an alternative wording but no committee members backed that.
The bill authors agreed to pull out provisions related to oil refinery concessions. Martin Dimitrov MP (Democratic Bulgaria) said that this Parliament will likely last another two-three weeks only and his group was ready to withdraw the said revisions if that is the cost of pushing through the bill "because it is important that the State has control over this economic activity".
The bill is expected to reach the plenary hall for a conclusive vote on January 13.