With a view to prevent distress sales of land by farmers, the Haryana government on Thursday approved a policy on the purchase of land voluntarily offered to government for development projects.

The state Cabinet which met today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar approved the policy that aims at preventing distress sales of land by farmers and at involving the land owners in decision making while locating the sites of development projects in Haryana.

An official spokesperson said that the two objectives are sought to be achieved by establishing a mechanism whereby (a) a farmer before considering a distress sale is assured of approaching the government as a potential buyer for its projects (b) government can elicit if some land owners would be so keen about the benefits of a particular project that they would be willing to sell their land to the government for it.

Under this Policy, an online portal shall be created where any land owner may at any time make an offer to sell his land. The applicant would have to enclose relevant land records and quote the expected rate while submitting online application. Every offer shall be duly acknowledged. The offered land shall be free of all encumbrances. A declaration will also be required to be submitted that there is no pendency of any litigation.

The concerned Departments shall examine the offer and decide whether it meets any of their present or future requirements for public projects. The department shall inspect the site and ascertain reasonability of rates within a month. Any department desirous of proceeding with the purchase shall seek through the portal any better offer that anyone in the vicinity of the area may like to make within two weeks. Thereafter, the department shall approach the Committee of Secretaries, headed by Chief Secretary, for scrutiny of their proposal along with the details of the offer. Upon clearance by the Committee, the department shall put up the case for affecting the purchase to High Powered Land Purchase Committee at the finally negotiated rate.

The High Powered Land Purchase Committee will be headed by the Revenue and Disaster Management Minister and have Ministers of Finance, Town and Country Planning and Urban Estates, Public Works (Building and Roads), Industries and Development and Panchayats as Members.