Myanmar bans the use of foreign currency for local transactions

In an effort to keep the country's foreign exchange rate stable, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has outlawed the use of foreign currency for local payments.

The bank has reportedly  instructed government agencies to pay in Myanmar kyat alone, claiming that using foreign currencies for domestic payments could increase demand for dollars and produce exchange rate instability.

The decision was made after the CBM found that some government departments and organisations were using foreign currencies for local payments, according to a statement from the central bank.

"Some government agencies were using and accepting foreign currencies in some of their activities," Win Thaw, deputy governor of the central bank, was quoted as saying in the statement. "These activities included renting lands, capital investments for insurance business, and income from joint ventures." The CBM also found that the US currency was being used in various hotels, restaurants, international schools, souvenir shops, and the rental of properties to foreigners in the country, he said. 

The central bank has already notified all ministries, regional and state administrations, and municipal committees in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, and Mandalay to utilise only kyat for purchases, sales, and payments in the country, the Central Bank said.

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