New Delhi: Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, on Thursday, said that the steel industry must adopt environment-friendly practices and boost production so that the country can realise the vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next five years.

"The industry must deploy technology and innovation to develop environment-friendly processes. As a responsible nation, we are contributing towards mitigating climate change. We have set an ambitious plan of achieving 450gigawatt capacity of renewable energy. I appeal to the industry to work towards achieving the mission of green steel," he said.

As the country invests Rs 100 lakh crore in creating and upgrading infrastructure, steel consumption is poised to grow exponentially.

"The Indian economy is consumption-driven. As the economy's size increases, the steel consumption is going to get big impetus," said Pradhan while inaugurating the ISA Steel Conclave 2019 organised by Indian Steel Association (ISA) here.

In 2018-19, India ranked second in world crude steel production after surpassing Japan. Of the total 1,804 million tonnes of steel produced globally during the year, more than half of the output came from China that stood at 945 million tonnes representing its dominant position.

This was followed by India and Japan with steel output at 106 million tonnes and 103 million tonnes respectively.

"There is no reason why India cannot be a net exporter of steel. For the nation to develop, we must promote domestic industry and be a net exporter of steel," said Pradhan urging the industry to promote localisation and do the hand-holding for ancillary sectors.

Being a facilitator, he said, the government will continue to help the industry in overcoming various obstacles. The minister asked industry leaders to explore the possibilities of pooling resources and developing common carrier facilities.

"The world is witnessing Industry 4.0 with big data, digitisation and artificial intelligence fundamentally changing the economy and society. Even in wake of such large-scale disruptions, steel continues to play an important role in building modern economies," he said.