ISLAMABAD: The remittances dispatched by the overseas Pakistani workers’ extended their unprecedented streak of above $2 billion for the 12th consecutive month in May as the remittances rose to US$ 26.7 billion during July-May 2020-21, higher by 29.4 percent over the same period last year. On a year-on-year basis, the workers’ remittances also jumped by 33.5 percent as the inflows increased to US $2.5 billion in May 2021. The remittances are also higher than the monthly average of US $2.4 billion during July-April FY21. On a month-on-month basis, workers’ remittances fell by 10.4 percent in May 2021 compared to April 2021. This fall was expected as remittances usually slow in the post Eid-ul-Fitr period, according to a press release issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. As Eid fell in mid-May 2021 with markets closed a week earlier, there was some front-loading of remittances in April 2021. However, the seasonal decline in May 2021 was less than half the average decline observed during FY 2016-2019. In FY2020, remittances experienced an exceptional rise due to the easing of Covid lockdowns in the post-Eid period in Gulf countries. Remittance inflows during July-May FY21 were mainly sourced from Saudi Arabia ($7.0 billion), United Arab Emirates ($5.6 billion), United Kingdom ($3.7 billion) and the United States ($2.5 billion). Record high inflows of workers’ remittances during FY21 have been driven by proactive policy measures by the Government and SBP to incentivize the use of formal channels, curtailed cross border travel in the face of COVID-19, altruistic transfers to Pakistan amid the pandemic, and orderly foreign exchange market conditions. Meanwhile in a tweet, minister for planning, development and special initiatives Asad Umar said that the remittances by overseas Pakistani’s was a key factor driving economic growth. “Shameful that PML N has demanded that the overseas Pakistanis should not be allowed to vote.” He said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) had always stood for overseas Pakistanis’ right to vote.