Jaitley Rahul

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Arun Jaitley speaks during a function at The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence event in Mumbai Oct. 28, 2017. Rahul Gandhi and Jaitley sparred on Twitter Nov. 1, following the World Bank’s “East of Doing Business” report. (IANS/PIB photo)

NEW DELHI — Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi used a Mirza Ghalib couplet and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley some deft word play, each hitting out at the other party over conflicting views on the World Bank's report on Ease of Doing Business.

A day after the World Bank released its report announcing that India had improved its ranking, Twitter was once again the playing field for the Congress and the BJP leaders.

Gandhi put out a tweet in Urdu, using a famous Ghalib verse to say the Union finance minister was deluding himself.

"Sabko maloom hai 'ease of doing business' ki haqeeqat, lekin khud ko khush rakhne ke liye 'Dr. Jaitley' ye khayal achha hai (everybody knows the reality of ease of doing business, but this thought, Dr. Jaitley, is good to keep yourself happy)." 

Jaitley said the United Progressive Alliance's "ease of doing corruption" has been replaced by National Democratic Alliance's "ease of doing business," apparently hitting back at Gandhi's jibe.

"The difference between the UPA and NDA - The ease of doing corruption has been replaced by the ease of doing business," he said in his tweet.

According to the World Bank report released Oct. 31, India's rank on the 'ease of doing business' scale has risen from 130 to 100 this year, helped by a slew of reforms in taxation, licensing, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution.

Addressing a press conference soon after the World Bank ranking was made public, Jaitley said India is the only major country named for pursuing structural reforms.

Gandhi said at a rally in Gujarat Nov. 1 that Jaitley should ask small and mid-sized businessman if the ease of doing business had really improved.

"The entire country will shout and say ease of doing business is absent, you have destroyed it, your demonetization and GST have ruined it," he said.

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