THE new New Territories Land (Exemption) Bill should be passed as a first step in ironing out sex inequality on inheriting properties in the New Territories, said speakers at City Forum yesterday. But the Government should take further steps in the future to address discrepancies suffered by indigenous female residents in inheriting flats and houses, they added. Hong Kong University lecturer Leung Wai-tung said the bill, gazetted on Friday, was a starting point to settling property ownership in the New Territories. ''The bill protects New Territories landowners who are not indigenous. It contributes to settling land inheritance,'' Ms Leung said at the forum. The new bill sought to clarify the controversial New Territories Ordinance, which raises doubts on the female inheritance right among owners in the Home Ownership Scheme in the New Territories, under which women were precluded from succeeding the property. Ms Leung admitted that the gazetted bill could not solve problems with the indigenous landowners and was still discriminatory against females.