New Delhi, Mar 27 : The three service chiefs on Thursday met Defence Minister A K Antony and proposed a 40 to 60 per cent increase over and above the hike suggested by the sixth pay commission, and said that they deserved a better deal.
The chiefs also strongly put forth the point that defence personnel needed to be given higher salaries to make a career in the forces attractive in the backdrop of shortage of officers.
Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Sureesh Mehta sought modifications in the pay commission proposals including Military Service Pay (MSP) be fixed at 25 per cent of the basic pay for soldiers, personnel below officer rank (PBOR) and middle rung officers.
Making a presentation to Antony and top brass of the Defence Ministry, Admiral Mehta felt the pay panel had not done justice to soldiers and middle rung officers.
Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, Air Chief Fali Homi Major and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh attended the meeting, which lasted more than 90 minutes.
The services, according to sources, were also up in arms against the panel's recommendation of single pay band for soldiers, PBOR and for officers up to the rank of brigadiers.
In written submissions made to the minister, the services have asked the government to consider "three pay bands" each for soldiers and PBOR and for officers from rank of Lieutenant to Brigadiers.
Though there was no official comment on the submissions made, it is understood that the service chiefs suggested that a separate pay commission for the armed forces supplement the report.
The meeting took place in the backdrop of reports of forces being dismayed over the recommendations of Justice Srikrishna. The report has come at a time when all the three services are facing shortage of key middle rung officers.
The shortage has been compounded by armed forces training institutions reporting shortfalls for the first time in getting recruits and this was the high point of arguments put forth by the three service chiefs.
Sources said that Defence Secretary Vijay Singh would take up submission made by the three services with the Finance Ministry officials.