Salient features of Energy Conservation Act-2003: i) The Central Government to prepare a National Electricity Policy in consultation with State Governments. ii) Thrust to complete the rural electrification and provide for management of rural distribution by panchayats, Co-operative Societies, nongovernment organizations, franchisees etc. iii) Provisions for license free generation and distribution in the rural areas. iv) Generation being delicensed and captive generation being freely permitted. Hydro projects need clearance from the Central Electricity Authority. v) Transmission utility at the central as well as state level to be government company with responsibility for planned and co- ordinated development of transmission network. vi) Provision for private licensees in transmission and entry in distribution through an independent network. vii)Open access in transmission from the outset. viii) Distribution licensees would be free to undertake generation and generating companies would be free to take up distribution businesses.