Chartered Accountancy (CA) students in many cities across Pakistan have gone on a strike against Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP).
Laying out the demands, a representative from the protestors asked the ICAP to act on the following points.
- Raise the minimum compensation from Rs. 11,700 to Rs, 20,000
- Normalize the work hours as graduates are forced to work 11-12 hours per day.
- Regulate the fees charged by institutes.
CA students in Pakistan have to fulfill the requirement of 3.5 to 4 years of articleship at an accounting firm as part of their degree. The stipend for articleships is quite low at Rs. 11,700. Studying alongside, giving fees for the papers and enduring long hours has proven to be a burden on students, who are now calling for action from ICAP.
“ICAP calls itself a non-profit but it has increased fees by over 200% over the last two years and stipends etc are the same. How is this fair?”, said a CA trainee.
Another trainee said, “ICAP needs to reduce the length of articleships. We have to go to external audits, sit at an office all day and wear suitable clothing as well. Bearing all these expenses for years while getting a subpar stipend isn’t possible for poor students.”