The Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) will be launching a course in Goods and Services Tax (GST) accounting in a about a month from now.

“We are in discussions with Government and modalities are being worked out,” Amit Anand Apte, President, ICAI told newspersons here on Thursday.

The 50-hour course will be effectively free for students as the Centre will totally bear the cost of course for one lakh candidates.

The cost of course could be around ₹ 5,000 per candidate.

There will be an all-India entrance exam with a nominal fee to screen the aspirants. All commerce graduates and those who are pursuing graduation will be eligible to take exam.

“Most of the SMEs are facing problems and we want to train one lakh accountants over next one year.” Apte said adding that the requirement for GST accountants for SMEs could be two lakh.

Demand for accountants

On opportunities for cost and management accountants, he said the job offers were on the rise.

In the recent placements for ICAI students, the average annual salary per annum was ₹ 7.5 lakh while the highest was ₹ 17.5 lakh, he said.