Indian 1 Rupee Banknote circulated in Burma

22 Nov 2017  Wed

Did you know that the Government of India issued One Rupee banknotes for Burma?

Burma did not issue any banknotes before the annexation by the British Empire. Following the three Anglo-Burmese annexations, Burma was incorporated into the British Empire. After these annexations, Burma was not an independent new colony but was a province of India. Banknotes of India were used in Burma after the British occupation of lower Burma in 1824.

When the Indian Paper Money Act was passed, the power to issue and circulation of banknotes in India was taken over by the Government of India in March 1862. The banknotes of Government of India were circulated in Burma; the Currency Department also had a Circle of Issue at Rangoon, which was established in 1882.

Burma was separated from the Indian Empire in 1935 when the Government of India Act came into force. However, the financial affairs of Burma continued to be managed by the Indian Government. This gave rise to a situation wherein the Central Monetary Authority of India issued notes for Burma.

This is the only instance where one country issued notes that were current in another during a civilian rule. It is unique in the history of paper money. An initial overprinted issue was followed by a special series of ‘Burma notes’ of the Reserve Bank India in 1937, also known as ‘Peacock Notes’.

The Government of India 1 Rupee notes overprinted in red 'Military Administration of Burma Legal Tender in Burma only' were issued in 1945. These notes were used by the Armed forces in Burma (Myanmar) and were demonetized on 1st June 1950.

There was an overprint note which was issued in 1947 in Burma. It was circulated within the Burmese Nationals and Civilians only. This note was demonetized on 28th December 1952.