Shimla: In a significant move towards gender equality, the Himachal Pradesh Assembly has passed a bill amending the state’s Ceiling on Land Holdings Act. The amendment allows adult daughters, both married and unmarried, to have an independent unit of up to 150 bighas of land – the same right previously granted only to adult sons. The bill aims to remove gender discrimination in land ownership and provide relief to families with daughters in the state.

As per the amendment, an adult daughter will be allowed to have a separate independent unit of up to 150 bighas of land. The state government has added the words “or daughter” after the word “son” in sub-section 4 of section 4 of the existing Act.

The bill brings daughters at par with sons as a separate independent unit. Previously, the Act allowed an adult son to have an additional 150 bighas of land while denying the same right to an adult daughter. As a result, families with adult daughters will now have the same land rights as those with adult sons, totalling up to 300 bighas of land.

The ‘Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Act, 2023’ was introduced in the State Assembly on March 29, 2023, by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh and passed on April 3, 2023. The bill aims to ensure gender equality for both sons and daughters when it comes to owning an independent unit.

The amendment in the Act paves the way for the removal of gender discrimination in line with the provisions of the Indian Constitution. It is aimed at providing relief to lakhs of families in the state having daughters, as it would enable their daughters to have an additional unit of 150 bighas of land.