When asked at the most recent parliamentary session about whether or not the country would soon be using new banknotes, the Vice President of the Central Bank of Myanmar U Soe Myint answered that new notes with Bogyoke Aung San’s portrait would be out when the economy was stable enough, reports Eleven.
Of course, there are multiple obstacles when it comes to replacing current currency with new ones.
One of the biggest difficulties is the cost involved. According to U Soe Myint, to fully replace one denomination would cost approximately K100,000,000,000. He also pointed out that all of the notes currently in use would need to be destroyed.
There’s also something psychologically jarring about suddenly switching from notes that you’re familiar with to ones that are brand new.
“If we frequently print notes with different designs, they will hold less meaning and people will become confused over the uncertainty that such a change might imply. It’s also difficult to introduce new notes.”
“As such, the Central Bank will wait for a time when the country’s economy is stable and there will be minimal disruption. Because there are multiple steps involved in printing new notes, we don’t have an exact timeframe yet.’
Printing new notes is not an easy task, but it has been done in the past.
Following independence from the British in 1948, new K1, K5, K10, and K100 notes with images of peacocks and lions were printed in 1952. In 1958, these were replaced with notes of Bogyoke Aung San’s portrait. Since then, new notes with other variations of Bogyoke Aung San’s picture and of images of lions have also been introduced.