CA trainee students protest over low stipend rate:
Being paid less than the minimum-wage fixed by Govt
“The stipend for Charted Accountant (CA) trainee student was fixed at Rs. 6,500 on May 12, 2008, about three years ago. The inflation rate from the last three years has increased more than 250% as compared to 2008 rates but the stipend is not revised by ICAP,” complained a group of CA trainees who met INFN on Monday.
“The ICAP exam and other fees are increasing annually from 10% to 30%, but the stipend for CA article student is same as three years before, Rs. 6,500. The present stipend of internee student in any government organization is Rs. 10,000 but the stipend of CA trainee is Rs. 6,500 from the last three years,” complained an internee on condition of not being named.
“The present stipend of a house job, medical trainee student, in any hospital is minimum Rs. 20,000 and the minimum wage is Rs. 7,000, (fixed in the budget June 2010) which clearly implies that the level of CA trainee is considered below a laborer,” argued another internee having fears of facing the wrath of his exploiters and requested anonymity.
“The audit fee is also increased by the firms including overtime from the students without any extra remuneration and out of pocket expenses to them. According to the ACCA rules, the trainee student of ACCA can complete his/ her training by doing job (Banks and companies) or by teaching in any educational professional institutions or in a CA firm, but for CA student CA firm is mandatory for his/her training (articlship), where the exploitation is ensured,” they complained.
“We would like to give some suggestions,” they continued, “Increase the CA stipend up to the internee stipend, Rs. 10,000 or decrease the working hours up to 6 hours a day (9AM to 4PM) can be a good initiative. Another possibility can be either to decrease the working days to 4 days a week or to bring the banking sector, teaching and other jobs in training scope of CA articlship.”
The articlship rules for CA trainees are very stiff as compared to the ACCA course training. By including jobs and teaching in the CA articlship may save the students from exploitation of CA firms who make them work till late night and force them to do overtime on weekends without paying any extra remuneration.