KARACHI (PPI) - The prices of essential commodities like sugar, flour, ghee, pulses, powder milk and tea have shot up, as the powerful profiteers and hoarder mafia has launched their pre-Ramzan profit drive before the advent of the holy month of Ramzan-ul-Mubarak. Market sources told PPI that the hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities had been systematically started in Karachi since last week. They said that the many owners of factories have stopped the supply of goods to artificially raise their prices. They said the prices of pulses were increased by Rs5 to Rs10 per kg. The wholesale price of massore pulse jumped from Rs110 to Rs120 per kg, moong plus from Rs44 per kg to Rs46 per kg, grams from Rs52 per kg to Rs58 per kg, masg pulse from Rs56 to Rs 62 per kg and the price of gram-flour also jumped by Rs10per kg. The wholesale price of sugar increased by Rs2.40 per kg. The sugar traders alleged that the sugar mill owners had enough stock of sugar but they wanted to create an artificial shortage by low supply. They said that the prices of sugar are expected to increase further before the start of the holy month of Ramzan-ul-Mubarak. The price of sugar has increased from Rs28 per kg to Rs30.4 per kg. The wholesalers are selling sugar at Rs30.4 per kg while retailers at Rs32.40 per kg. Market sources predicted a sugar crisis in the coming month if the government failed to take on the erring millers and hoarders. Similarly, the prices of other kitchen items are on the rise. The rates of spices are also on the run. The market sources said that the suppliers had increased the prices of food items on the plea of rising inflation and increases in the cost of manufacturing. The wholesale prices of tea are also increased up to Rs10 to Rs15 per kg. The wholesalers urged that the government should provide relief on the import of tea so as to bring down its rate.