Demonetization of Kyats 50 and 100 Notes of Myanmar
by U Thein Han (Former Systems Engineer, IBM Burma)
It was on May of 1964 Myanmar Kyats 50 and 100 were ceased to to be legal tender and became worthless by the stroke of U Ne Win pen. This made most of the salary workers poor because they lost all their modest savings.
U Aung Khin, Manager of IBM World Trade Corporation (Burma) received a call from the Deputy Director, Ministry of Finance to come see him in regard to IBM machines rented by the Government Departments. U Aung Khin took me along when he went and saw the Deputy Director and we were told to help them with the tabulation of the currencies received from the citizens by using IBM DP Machines.
The government gave the citizens 7 days to surrender the demonetized 50 and 100 Kyat notes to the receiving stations in the villages, Townships and Districts in Myanmar. This gigantic operation was given to U Than Tu, Chief Account Officer of Rangoon Port Authority office. U Than Tu then made University of Rangoon the operation center for this job. It was a 24/7 day and night non-stop operation at the University.
IBM Engineers then had to move IBM DP Machines used by the War Office and National Planning Department to Convocation Building and class rooms. We had to recruit new English typists and train them as operators for 024 and 056 Punch card machines.
The student Recreation Center donated by Fulbright Association, USA was converted into a Dinning Hall for the workers of this operation. Free transportation and meal was provided to workers by the government, IBM’ers were also given meal coupons for breakfast and lunch.
U Aung Khin and I had discussion with U Ba Nyein, Board Member of Union Bank of Burma and U Than Tu in regard to the type of statements they would like to have to enable us to design the IBM Card and to program DP Machines for printing the required statements. The operation was a success and the government received the statements they want.
IBM Data Processing Machines
IBM Accounting Machines used for printing statements by programming the control panel on the side of the machine. These machines were used during the Demonetization of Kyats 100 and 50 notes. The lower machine is a Sorter to sort cards.